Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?


Jeanette Winterson

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Ruth Rendell Character Analysis

A friend of Jeanette’s, whom Jeanette describes as her “Good Mother.” A supportive and helpful confidant, Ruth lent Jeanette a cottage to write in when she was just starting out, and she helps and guides Jeanette as she attempts to wade through the paperwork and red tape that stands between her reunion with her birth mother. When Jeanette does find her birth mother, and is scared to go meet her, Ruth urges Jeanette to go through with the meeting. Ruth embodies the text’s thematic arcs about mothers and daughters and the pursuit of happiness.
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Ruth Rendell Character Timeline in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

The timeline below shows where the character Ruth Rendell appears in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13: This Appointment Takes Place In The Past
The Pursuit of Love and Happiness Theme Icon
Also at Jeanette’s side is Ruth Rendell , a longtime friend. Jeanette refers to her as the “Good Mother.” Ruth is well... (full context)
Chapter 14: Strange Meeting
Storytelling Theme Icon
Mothers, Daughters, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Ruth Rendell calls Jeanette, and tells her to “go [meet Ann] and get it over with.” Jeanette,... (full context)