Alyce In Karen Cushman’s The Midwife’s Apprentice

952 words - 4 pages

Karen Cushman’s The Midwife’s Apprentice is about a young homeless girl who doesn’t know anything about herself. This girl is found sleeping in a dung heap by a village and the village’s Midwife decides she’ll give her shelter if she’ll work as her apprentice. From that moment, her new life starts and she finds an identity that fits her and a new name, occupation and a place she belongs to. Alyce’s smartness, empathy and curiousness are a great combination that leads her to become a midwife’s apprentice, and as she works she starts to learn how the world works.

Throughout the book Alyce proves to be a very empathetic and caring young girl. One of the times Alyce shows her empathy, the Midwife was trying to help a woman give birth, but the lady was having some trouble and Jane tried so much that in the end she just gave up to go help someone else she knew would pay her more, deciding to abandon the woman who was in need of help. Alyce decided that it wasn’t fair, and that a lady shouldn’t be left like that when she needed help, “The memory of the proud, frightened, Joan of a moment ago kept her there. And she asked herself, What would the midwife so if she were here? … Alyce took a deep breath and returned to Joan’s side” (59), so she decided to help Joan even though the midwife was too selfish to do so. Alyce also respects the people who don’t respect her, so when the village boys that had recently stopped teasing her were doing something that would have definitely gotten them in trouble if the midwife had seen them, she knew they’d have been in trouble so she went up to the midwife and talked to her to hold her off so the boys could get away. Alyce likes helping people that need help when no one else will help them, for example when she’s found a job at an inn after she’s given up her career as a midwife’s apprentice and a few people ride to the inn asking for help because they claim the lord’s wife is being eaten by a stomach worm but Alyce immediately realizes the lady is pregnant and decides to help her even though she’s a bit uncertain at first because of her recent failure.

TOPIC SENTENCE. Alyce showed curiousness after she failed and ran away by going on looking for other places she could find a job. She was still convinced she was an absolute failure, as “I be nobody mistress.” (63) became what she started answering people when they asked her who she was and what her name was, but she...

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