Critical Analysis Essay of Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
Carrie Parker is an eight-year old girl who experienced cruelty and shattered life in the hands of her stepfather Richard. At an early age, she realized her responsibility of looking for her little sister’s need in order for them to survive.
Their happy life in a small town of Carolina started to become miserable when she and Emma, her younger sister, saw their father’s death right in front of their eyes. Out of desperation, their mother decided to marry again to support their needs. With Richard, they experienced being physically and verbally abused. With that, they also experienced the emotional absence of a mother.
While Emma, despite of being the younger one, usually gets them both out of the way, Carrie tends to become the make-believer, as a way to escape the cruelty and pain. Moreover, they also tried to runaway, until they discovered that hiding from their couch serves another room and comfort zone to them.
During their stay in their new home, Wilson, their neighbor, taught her how to shoot his father, as another way to save themselves from the troubles. But Carrie did not think it is a good idea.
As their lives continue to revolve around that cruel life, secrets are slowly coming to life, about the real reason of their real father’s tragic death.
This is the story of children who had to reach maturity very early in their life. She has to protect and be a mother to Emma. She had to endure the abuse they experienced from their stepfather and ignorance from their mother, and continues to be strong for her. With these frustrations in home, she is also an outcast in school, despite of her teacher’s concerns on her bruises.
Carrie and Emma are opposite in some ways. Physically, Carrie is dark, while Emma is fair. Emma is more of like a leader than Carrie, since she is more realist than her older sister, who always dreams that she lives in a far place, with her book of stamps as her treasured possession. These serve as the contrast from the injustices she encounters in the reality.
The cruelty and abuse Carrie encounters throughout the novel signifies the same pain and hardships children like them experience in the hands of the people who are supposed to treat them with the best of care. This serves an eye-opener for the readers to know more about the feelings of abused children like Carrie and Emma Parker.