Assignment 4 “Heroes of the Frontier”

In the pages following chapter eight, specifically 150-200, Josie is conflicted by staying or leaving. She ultimately leaves because that just seems to be her nature. Even though she has a habit of changing her life and moving, she still considers finally settling down once she sees how Sam’s life is going. She says that people who stay and have solidarity in their lives are “plain idiots or the salt of the earth (Eggers 154).” This means that she thinks that “stayers” are the reason that their traditions and cultures are upheld where they live. The opposite of this means what she says; they’re just plain idiots. They’re stupid for staying where they live because they aren’t getting anything out of where they are. Another thing she realizes about herself is that the best parents are predictable, but also that, “interesting people cannot bear children (Eggers 150).” She is not predictable so she can’t be a good parent, but since she has children she can’t be interesting. She’s caught in between, which is probably the worst thing she can do. She even says that, “They don’t need me. They need good meals, and someone to bathe them dutifully, and to clean the house not because they should but because they want to (Eggers 151).” Really the only thing that she does for her kids is thinking about them and what they need. She is the one that wanted to go and leave her home in Ohio and get away from her husband, who had already left with his new girlfriend. She is too preoccupied with moving and changing up her life instead of settling down and giving her kids the proper care that they need.

She does consider staying and taking on a lifestyle that Sam has, but at the though of the responsibility that that entails, she makes up some reason to shoot it down and continue with what she has always been doing. Her thought process goes “Maybe they could live here. Maybe there was destiny and symmetry in her coming here to live near Sam, her fellow feral. But who could live here? It’s beautiful now, yes, but surely the winters are a holy fucking horror (Eggers 151).” This is how quickly she makes her decision. As soon as she thinks of one negative to something that would be good for her and her family, she immediately shoots the idea down and continues to make selfish decision.


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