Out Of The Dust Essay, Research Paper
Out of the Dust
Written by: Karen Hesse
Billie Jo is the main character in this book and also my favourite character. She is basically the one that tells the story. It is as if she writes poetry and makes a book of it or tells a story through her poetry. Billie Jo has short red hair, rosy cheeks and freckles, a wide mouth and cheekbones like bicycle handles; she has long fidgety legs, narrow hips and pointy elbows. Billie enjoys playing the piano and eating apples. She was born in August of 1920 at home on the kitchen floor. During the story she is 14 years of age. After a horrible accident, Billie Jo s hands get scarred.
Overlook her name, as Billie Jo must have been a very delicate and gentle girl. I can tell so because she plays piano and has so much compassion for it. She tells of how the music makes her feel so free. Billie Jo, in my opinion, was na ve in the sense that she didn t want to admit what was going on. She approached the sadness, pain and heartache she was feeling in a manner that made it the easiest to deal with for her. Billie Jo to me is an inspiration. Though her character is fictional she made me feel bad for the times I thought my life was horrible. She went through so much in her life: her parents crops dying, sandstorms, getting badly burnt and, worst of all, the death of her mother and her unborn brother. She was forced to deal with this and was able to get through it all.
If Billie Jo was a living person and I could have the opportunity to meet her, I would definitely do so. I would like to ask her how it was before all the pain; how she lived with the sandstorms and her fathers crops that kept on dying. I would also like to know how she got through it all. It would be great to understand how she was able to do so because maybe it would enable me to go on in life when times get rough. Maybe it would give me strength later on in life when I need it. I would be able to look back at the time I met Billie Jo and think of how she got through such things and it would make me feel like my problems were a grain of sand.
I think what happened in the story meaning the death of Billie Jo s mother and unborn baby changed her drastically she was forced to look at reality and see what was going on. She could not live in her fantasy world anymore where everything was great and all that was important was the piano. She had to learn in a way to be her own mother. She had to learn to be independent and how to go on in life. Ma was not there anymore to help her wit this task.
Billie Jo lives in Oklahoma with her father and pregnant mother and later on in the story when her mother and brother pass on, Louise moves in. They live in a Panhandle shack but to them it is home. Her father grows wheat and her mother has a few apple trees and both get eaten by grass hopers in the story. There are a lot of sandstorms where Billie Jo lives and it is very hard to grow anything. This is especially true for Billie s father, who during the whole story is having a lot of difficulties growing wheat. The story takes place from January 1934 till December 1935.
Basically this story is about Billie Jo and how her mother is gone leaving her father the task of being mom and dad, which he is incapable of doing. He too must deal with the death of his wife. The only thing that would help Billie Jo get through the hard times is her compassion for piano, which she is unable to carry out because of the wounds to her hands.
I think the author tells the story to let us readers know that no matter what happens in life there can always be something worse and if you try you can always make things better. So when things go wrong don t dwell on them and ask why they went wrong and where things got mixed up. Just pick up where you left off and do your best to put your life back together. When problems arrive, don t run away because the problems will follow you. They are still in your mind and no matter how long you run away for you will one day have to deal with the problems. So deal with them as soon as they arrive so you can live the rest of your life happily without thoughts at the back of your mind.
I enjoyed the story very much. It was surely one of the best novels I have ever read. The story itself, the author s ideas and so on are so realistic that you feel as if it is happening right in front of you. The authors unique style of writing in which he uses only poems makes the book that much more interesting. I have read this book several times and not once did I find any part of it boring. In fact my eyes still get watery reading some parts of the book. If any one asks me to suggest a book, the first one that comes to my mind is this one.