Adolescence is tough part in every person’s life. Trying to figure out who you are or who you want to become can be one of the most difficult factors of growing up. Though just about everyone can agree with this, many of us experienced completely different things during this stage of life. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson gives a complex story of a girl finding her way through poverty in the city.
One of the most important dynamics of this story is August’s mother. August had memories of her mother going crazy in a sense, and leaving in the night with her father and younger brother. The children are to never see their own mother again and their father rarely speaks of her, if at all. From the point of leaving their mother forward, it is clear to see that August sees her mother in everything she does. When August notices Sylvia, Gigi and Angela, she is completely enticed and awestruck by these girls. One of the things that first came to my mind was that August was looking for another way to encompass the female figure she needed in her life when her mother became absent. In a way, the girl’s friendship was different than most adolescent friendships as it became centered around taking care of each other and attempting to be a support system. At this point in a teenager’s life, this would be something that would be looked for within a mother. Not only is August leaning on her friendships to cover up the gaping hole left in her life from not having a present mother, she also seemed to cling onto Sister Loretta, grasping for some sort of female figure to help her navigate through growing up in a city like Brooklyn.
At the beginning of the time that Sister Loretta is in the children’s lives, August follows her and tries to take part in relying on faith rather than parental figures. As she is searching for herself, this only lasts for a short amount of time. As August jumps between friendships, faith and her father to keep her afloat, it becomes clear to see that August’s mother is the underlying cause of her distress and is ultimately the thing that enables August to drown in her adolescent memories.