Novel “Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai

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Lucy is the main character in Rebecca Makkai's novel "Borrower." Lucy, as shown in the book, comes from a family of rebels. Makkai describes Lucy as a librarian. She appears to be attempting to break free from the many constraints imposed by her Russian upbringing. Lucy's history indicates that she is dissatisfied with the way she has been raised. Specifically, the disadvantages she faces as a result of her upbringing in a Russian household. It is for these reasons that her childhood leads her to consider a rebellious course. Lucy faces a crisis of identity, and she also struggles in trying to find out and realize who she is based on where she came from. The rebellious path that Lucy decides to take makes her be in a controversial place which is the children's library section. The kind of challenges Lucy is facing affects many people in their mid to late twenty's. Lucy's graduation makes the reader find out that she has an academic background. Although, being that she has already graduated, she has not yet found herself in a well-round perspective and in understanding who she wants to become.

Lucy’s father is a Russian immigrant. From the history of Lucy’s father, it is notable that after Lucy’s graduation his father would have gotten her some work in his shady business connections, but these were not Lucy’s intentions because she did not want to find herself back in Chicago or receive his father’s help in getting her some work to keep her busy in his business connections (Tracy 34). Lucy’s profession background began with her work in the Hannibal library in Missouri where she was the head of the children library. Lucy’s father was more of a business man. They left their own country to start a new life in Chicago where Lucy also continued with her studies. From Lucy’s background, it is evident that the kind of life she lived as a child was not to her pleasing.

The story about the chocolate factory is important because Lucy’s father used this in bringing up how some important points to Ian. He told Ian about this story of starting a chocolate factory during those early days when he was still staying in Russia. Back then he was still a kid when he had the idea of coming up with a chocolate factory. This story impacted Ian because he loved it and made him feel the message from the story. However, on Lucy's side, this story gave her a pause. The story made Lucy feel like part of her beloved childhood was just but fiction and her through that if her childhood was more of fiction, then why could it not be changed for her to correct the kind of life she was living (39). The chocolate story's importance is more evident in making Lucy realize that there are people who do not accept the world the way it is and they accept others to believe on their life story's that are more like myths.

Lucy's behavior is also more like alarming, Kidnapping Ian makes it difficult to see whether Lucy is really in her sense because to some extent it is like Ian is the kidnapper. Even though she decides to escape with Ian, she should also have considered what his parents would think of when he goes missing. Although she feels Ian's parents were mistreating him in different ways maybe because he was homosexual, Lucy should have done the right thing. This part still gives the importance of the chocolate factory because one can see the significance of the story and Lucy's deeds.

Lucy's relationship to her family's history is not that much. She does not want to get into the family business. The business opportunities that his father has (Loriene, et al. 23). Lucy is more like escaping the family life, and that is why she does not want to go back to Russia. However, Lucy's family is determined, and this relates to Lucy because of her interest in education which is evident with her going to college. Lucy's education is more impacted why her self-competent because she does not want to live the kind of life her parents are living. The fact that they are immigrant and staying in a different country that is not their own is part of life that she does not feel fit for her.

The kidnapping of Ian makes Lucy's relationship to her family's history in some ways. Lucy's family fled from Russia, and here is Lucy too helping Ian get away from his home. This kind of relationship makes one see the daring nature of Lucy because she does not like seeing other people get hurt or live in difficult conditions. His parents escaped Russia because they felt they were safer in a different country, the same way Lucy felt Ian would feel safer away from the mistreatments he felt from his parent. Besides, Lucy's hard work is also as that of his parents. His father was a businessman, and he liked his job regardless of how dubious they were same like Lucy; she was comfortable with her work as the head librarian of the children section. She made sure that every child was well served whenever necessary with different books they required. This is why she also met Ian and realized how this child was being mistreated making him sleep outside the house at times.

Lucy Hull feels that even though she has been away from Russia for the last five years, but she still believes that the Russia in her mind is still a lie. Lucy is migrants, and they flee from Russia for various reasons. The fact that her parents left Russia to indicate that the kind of life they were living there were not good (30). She believes that the kind of worse life that was there still exists though she tries to think that maybe things have changed. Besides, if she has stayed in Russia, then it means she would not have made it a collage. She believes his father who had different businesses would have influenced her to join one of the forums. His father would have also been part of her to completing her studies. Lucy does not want to believe that most of the Russian children have access to education even though she left there five years ago. Even though she is struggling to know herself, maybe things would have been worse in case she would still be in Russia.

Works Cited

Richardson, Tracy. "The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai (Viking Press, 2011)." SHENANDOAH 61.1 (2011): 34-75.

Roy, Loriene, et al. "Developing a Reading Community: Involving LIS Students in Planning a Readers’ Advisory Event." The Reference Librarian 54.1 (2013): 23-37.

October 20, 2022



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