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Word Count: 737
The Eternal Struggle Between Innocence and Acceptance The desire to be accepted by others is sought by people all around the world In The Novitiate a short story by Jean Howarth the main character a youthful girl is faced with a choice about acceptance and personal beliefs The story takes place in the Prairies in the 1940s when money was rewarded for exterminating gophers The girl faces a decision that requires her to give up her innocence and beliefs through the action of killing a gopher in order to gain acceptance by her older brother Howarth believes that one would violate his or her own ethics in order to earn respect or to befriend someone Initially the main character is nave and totally innocent having no idea of what a gopher hunt really is As she sets out on the unfamiliar hunt the girl trots at her brothers heels as is respectfulp 35 She thinks of a gopher as a pet that sits up and begs for nutsp 35 with their little handsp 36 The child does not see any commercial value in them and does not care about the governments offer of money for gopher tails She just considers them as an animal similar to a little dogp 36 The girl is very determined to get her older brother to accept her who has a very different idea about what gophers are as compared to his younger sister He thinks they are pests and getting rid of them will be beneficial to everyone and is also interested in the three-cent bounty for each tail The main character holds back tears for her brother obeys him and tries to imitate himp 36 proving that she yearns to have his friendship However the girl soon finds out that her brother kills gophers on a gopher hunt unlike Stewie Grant a friend who only takes their tailsp 37 then allows them to go
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