In chapter 2, the story continues with the introduction of the protagonist. Angela is the youngest of seven siblings and lives in a large family home in a small town. She is introduced as a timid and quiet girl who struggles to find her place in the bustling family dynamic.
As the chapter progresses, the reader is shown glimpses of Angela’s home life, which is dominated by her boisterous siblings and overworked mother. Angela’s father is notably absent, having left the family years earlier, and the family’s financial situation is strained. Angela’s mother works hard to make ends meet, but the family’s circumstances have taken a toll on her, and she often loses her temper with her children.
Despite her shyness, Angela is shown to be a thoughtful and perceptive child. She takes note of the tensions between her siblings and tries to keep the peace, often putting others‘ needs before her own. She is particularly close to her sister Kate, who is only a few years older than her, and looks up to her as a role model.
Throughout the chapter, Angela struggles to fit in with her siblings and often feels like an outsider in her own home. She is acutely aware of her family’s financial struggles and feels embarrassed about her threadbare clothes and worn-out shoes. Her self-consciousness is heightened when her classmates tease her about her appearance at school, further exacerbating her feelings of inadequacy.
The chapter ends with Angela’s mother scolding her for losing a school book and threatening to withhold her dinner as punishment. Angela is hurt by her mother’s harsh words and retreats to her room, where she reflects on her place in the world and wonders whether she will ever be able to find a sense of belonging.
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