English 12 “The Uprooting” Essay
“Leave Winnipeg! It seemed impossible.” Elizabeth, the main character in “The Uprooting” by Dorothy Livesay, exclaims this quote when she hears the news her
family is moving. Moving to a new place and leaving everything behind can be
difficult, especially for a young girl who has just set down roots. The title of this
story, “The Uprooting,” proves to be significant when Elizabeth leaves her home,
says goodbye to her friends and family, and realizes the undying love she possess
for her old life.
The title of the story proves its significance when Elizabeth must leave behind the
house she has grown up in. For young Elizabeth she, “ had no choice. She had to go.”
When Elizabeth was told that her father would leave and take the family with him, she
was very upset. For Elizabeth, she had lived in “the little white house” for what seemed
like forever. To leave it behind was to be uprooted and taken away from her safe haven.
By watching her house be “dismantled; clothes and books packed; old toys thrown away,” Elizabeth was herself being dismantled. This “uprooting” from her beloved home
demonstrates the importance and meaning that the title plays in the story. The first “uprooting” that occurs with a deep meaning is when Elizabeth is forced to leave behind a part of her life: her home.
Importance of the title “The Uprooting” is displayed in the friends and family, Elizabeth leaves behind when she moves to Toronto. Elizabeth does not realize that moving away from home also involves moving away “from those beings who had watched over her like angels.” It was not until much later that Elizabeth realized “that Aunt Maudie had been a mother, after all; for she had taught Elizabeth what mothering was like. When Elizabeth leaves Winnipeg she realizes that all her friends and family are left behind: “ I wish you were coming with us…” Not only has she been taken away from the house she loves so much, but she also has been dragged from those who she has spent her life with. Once again, the title “The Uprooting” shows its importance, as Elizabeth has been uprooted from her friends and family.
Finally, “The Uprooting,” shows its meaning in the love that is left behind when Elizabeth leaves for Toronto. Riding in the “blackcar” that was her taxi, Elizabeth realized that “it wasn’t Peggy, nor Rita, nor Aunt Maudie, nor the street itself; nor the little white clapboard house” that she was leaving behind. For Elizabeth, “it was something of all these…but it was more, more than that.” This “move” could only be termed as love. Elizabeth is being uprooted and taken away from all that she has ever loved: the house filled with all its memories, the friends she grew up with, and the family who became her guardians over time. Elizabeth experienced “the sense of separation.”
She had been pulled away from her life, the life she loved, and was now “a human creature walking alone.” The title of the story proves most significant at this very point in the story when Elizabeth realizes that what she has been uprooted from is love itself.
In the story “The Uprooting,” Elizabeth, the main character, is pulled out of her life and forced into a new one. She is uprooted from everything important to her, house, friends and family, and love, proving the significance of the story’s title. But, of everything that Elizabeth is pulled away from, the everlasting memories of the love she had will remain.