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Belle Boggs’ “Good News for a Hard Time” explores the ways in which the loss of a parent can impact a child, while also touching on differences in social classes and the additional struggle this can cause. Ronnie is understandably resentful of her mother’s leaving and her father’s simple acceptance of this, but shows a clear inability to accept love from others as a result. In addition, a poor upbringing has made her constantly dissatisfied with what she has, fueling her desire to run away in search of better.

Despite resenting her mother for running away, Ronnie displays the same exact tendencies she perceived in her mother. Her mother, presumably, left for a greater, richer, life, something Ronnie yearns for but decides she doesn’t have. At every opportunity she denies herself happiness and is quick to dismiss any thoughts of attempting to create a meaningful and intimate situation the would make her vulnerable. “She imagined bringing Jeremy home from the hospital, holding his good hand… and telling him about their child in a shy, proud, way… No, she thought, that was stupid.” (Boggs, 9)

Ronnie keeps people at arm’s length, refusing to accept their love, and constantly thinks about running away to something greater. If only she’d gotten that degree, if only Jeremy had died… All of this a result of the loss of a vital figure in her life.

I believe Ronnie is an excellent example of how distorted one’s view of the world can be when one loses a parent. It can damage the ability to maintain relationships and trust in others, especially those that should be cherished the most.

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