The Inner Conflict of Anna as Depicted in Jodi Pacolet’s My Sister’s Keeper
The life long question of the meaning of life is a soul pondering their significance of their existence. It is questioning one’s own morals whether they are right or wrong. Where can one draw a line between true altruism and putting ones needs first? Anna’s character in “My Sisters Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult has an inner character conflict between life’s right’s and it wrong’s. Beginning with Anna’s parents in this decision they made for having no other way, a 13-year-old girl genetically conceived through science to donor match her diagnosed sister with leukemia. It is a controversy throughout the book, but Picoult creates a God’s view for the reader to understand the roles of every major character in the book. She also sets the characters to feel relatable to the reader. The story progresses as each character develops and copes with life’s unexpected set backs, they successfully cope and the story goes on to question morality at the reader’s level over the purpose of Anna’s life through each character’s development.
Though Anna may be the protagonist, the book isn’t only about her, but every character involved in the story line through Anna. The book is set so that the reader understands the reason behind every character’s actions. Picoult’s way of explaining various moralities behind life’s unexpected twist turns each character to represent many points of view in which they all tie in together by the end of the book. Anna is the first spoken character that is speaking towards an audience. She feels as no ordinary teen but made specifically to save her sisters life. Though she can’t help but realize that if her sister Kate was never sick, she wouldn’t exist, and that must be a a little hurtful to realize but she comes to understand her purpose. Yet when she chose to hire a lawyer to sue her parents for her right’s to her body, since her parent’s never really stopped to ask if it was okay with Anna to give Kate her kidney, she feels conflicted. Yes, she has every right to do whatever she wants with her body organs but there’s the weighing pressure her family puts upon her that feels like Kate’s life is on her hands.
It is a very conflicting situation for Anna indeed since she doesn’t want to perceive a life without her sister Kate. Whenever she feels sad or lost, she goes to Kate. The reader can feel the strong bond and adoration Anna has towards Kate. “I didn’t want to see her because it would make me feel better. I came because without her, it’s hard to remember who I am…” Without her sister, Anna would feel meaningless because that’s all her parents, mostly her mother Sara, would see her as; Kate’s life generator. A thirteen-year-old girl who grew up her whole life transferring to her sister her blood when she needed without ever having a basic human right to deny or approve of such transfusions but neglected of it begins to question what is really her true purpose in life. Still yet she feels she is wrong and a horrible person for what she’d done to sue her parents. And of course it did not go well with her mother when she found out about the news.
Though, the Fitzgerald family doesn’t necessarily mistreat Anna, in fact they depend on her. Not only with Kate’s life, but she is like a light source of a beacon. Her family goes through constant turmoil and Anna becomes their symbol of hope and happiness because of the way she can make people be more open and insights joy in whoever comes across her. A little towards the end, the unexpected twist in the book shocks readers when they learn that Kate enabled Anna to fight for her rights as well as Kate has her own decision to her death. Soon the court begins and Anna wins her emancipation for her body. But the reader gets reminded about life’s unexpected turn outs when Anna tragically dies in a car accident and becomes brain dead. Her kidney still ends up saving Kate’s life but her family mourn for their once exceptional daughter that was shamefully taken for granted. Sometimes people can only realize when it’s too late but Anna served her life’s purpose in the end.
Alexander Campbell is the name of the attorney Anna hired by bargaining that she would clean his doorknobs. Campbell’s character is very sarcastic and is one of the best attorneys out there. He didn’t take Anna seriously at first until he realized how serious she was when she told him she wanted to sue her parents for her rights to her own body. Though very uncommon of him, he decided to take on the case of Anna, with the initial intention of increasing his publicity, later becoming fond and connected with her. He can relate to Anna through his parental issues he had as a child and he later realizes when Anna points out how they are similar in which they both don’t always have control of their bodies. Campbell’s character conflict here is growing up with parents that ultimately left him with very low self esteem and feels like a burden for not being able to control the seizures he developed due to a car accident at the age of eighteen. Whenever they ask him what his service dog is for, he comes up with different explanations each time, humoring himself internally.
An old flame reappears in Campbell’s life as Anna’s legal court guardian. Julia, the woman he abandoned, angrily discovers his role in Anna’s life and wants nothing to do with him but to keep it strictly about helping Anna with her case. Though the reason he coldly abandoned Julia was because he was embarrassed of his seizures and did not want her to be brought down in life because of him. His sarcastic nature became a rod to keep people at a distance from him. Over time, Campbell becomes less and less sarcastic towards Anna as they got to know each other more and more. His actions become selfless as his reason for helping Anna become more to grant her happy ending by winning. And so he did. And during the whole thing, he becomes closer with Julia because she finally knows the reason he left her and forgave him. By the end, the air feels lite when Anna finally was told some good news and won the case. Campbell feels very proud of himself, everything in his life has finally been settled as he reclaimed back the love of his life. When he gives Anna a ride one rainy day, they get into a car accident where Anna’s life ends. He mourned her death and since he had the decision to donate Anna’s kidney to Kate, he of course accepted to save Anna’s sisters life. Later on the reader finds out through one of the other characters that Campbell and Julia get married and remain in touch with Anna’s family.
Sara is the mother of Anna and Kate whose life purpose is to keep Kate alive even if she has to genetically conceive a baby in a lab. Her mothering obsession with Kate’s well being obscures the images of her other two children Anna and Jesse (her son). She disregards her sons’ antics and self destructive behaviors he tries to obviously put out there to call on his parent’s attention. She also doesn’t stop to think about anyone’s well being and not even her own but Kate. When she learns that Anna is suing her, she tried everything she could to convince Anna to call it off but to no avail. So she becomes her own attorney to represent herself. She finds how much she used to enjoy fighting through cases but her career ended and made her only career to be looking over Kate.
When it came to Anna through her early stages in the lab, Sara has admitted to only viewing her as a sort of tool that would be able to fix Kate. When she was pregnant with Anna, she had called her an it. She’s certainly not a cold mother because she loved her children very much. Her motherly side naturally brought her to love Anna dearly as Anna grew up to seem more human. Picoult sets Sara’s point of view to explain to her audience about the past with Kate’s diagnosis. She had noticed Kate’s strange bruises one day as she was showering 3-year-old little Kate. When the doctors told her what it was (a rare blood disease), she couldn’t believe the situation that life had thrown at her. Ever since she was determined to keep Kate alive. Sara’s a very resilient woman, but her stubbornness against life’s force of taking Kate away from her stray her of giving any attention to her other two kids which make them feel invisible to her.
Sarah doesn’t stop to think about the fact that everyone is struggling just as much with Kate’s cancer and that all the members of her family are being affected with Sara’s unintended negligence. The reader can conclude that Sara was a main reason the family is straining. Her marriage also begins to fail as she mistreatment her relationship with her husband. All they ever talk about is what other move they can do for Kate. Her frustration and anger with Anna for not wanting to donate her kidney demonstrations the reader how un open minded she was that she didn’t care to wonder how hurt and confused Anna was by going through all this emotional pressure. It is certainly to much for a teen to handle, to try to understand the world alone. She later passed it off as just one of Anna’s tantrum and that it will be forgotten over time and so, again, goes back to try and fix Kate. When finding out from Anna during court that Kate has wished to die, Sarah did not want to believe this. She didn’t even give Kate to voice her own opinion and hear out what she had wanted for herself as well. Soon Sara realizes what she has done to drive her family into where they are now and apologizes to them. Since Brian and Anna moved out of the house, Sara only asked her husband when they were going to decide to come back home. She tucked in Anna and explained to her that she was not a bad person which is something Anna wanted to hear from her mother all along.
Almost every good story ends with leaving the reader to ponder over the morality behind the story. Controversy among “My Sister’s Keeper” readers questions the morality of designing a baby to cure her current sick one. Anna questions her own morality for wanting to be independent to choose what she wants to do with her body. She grows older and realizes she is a human being as well with rights and needs. Yet, she feels wrong that she has to fight for her rights under the circumstances of her sister’s life depending on her. In the end, Anna passes away effectively shifting the rest of the characters’ feelings and thoughts towards her. It is then when the story delivers its theme of taking someone for granted.
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