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Word Count: 814
Major events in ones life often play an important role in defining character values and beliefs These same events serve to determine the mold of a person essentially what they are made of They act as a window to the soul through this window heroes are discovered In the novel A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons the character Ruby Pitt Woodrow functions as a classic hero who faces numerous hardships Throughout her life Ruby has struggled to overcome opposition not only with her family and friends but also within herself Despite all her struggles Rubys character progresses from a delicate girl to a resilient young woman who grows as a result of her sheltered childhood her abusive first marriage and the life-shattering effects of her cancer Parents frequently appear to be under the false impression that if they shield their children from the evils of the world they will remain unscathed and untainted However more often than not the children develop much larger issues that way than if left to experience life in its entirety This occurs especially in Rubys case her parents protect her to the point that she evolves into the stereotypical helpless female dependent on everyone but herself Ultimately the damage to Ruby causes her to be trapped in a dysfunctional first marriage in which she suffers physical abuse as well as emotional and mental Also she acquires a skewed point of view on life from her sheltered childhood she believes that all people posses a good soul This theory only serves to create more problems for Ruby when she lets people take advantage of her It also contributes to prolonging her abusive marriage as she tries desperately to find the kindness within her first husband However after years of mistreatment Ruby discovers a force of inner strength that opens her eyes a bit and she leaves her cruel husband Rubys sheltered childhood clearly demonstrates one way in which her character
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