The main character Baby has been exposed to many drugs and crimes throughout her life. Early on in the novel, she pressured into doing drugs by her family and peers. She does not have a problem with trying drugs because she assumes it’s okay because of her drug user father. Baby was raised in a home where drugs were acceptable and are often used as a stress reliever. Even in the beginning of the novel Baby says, “for a kid, I knew a lot of things about what it felt like to use heroin” (O’Niell 10) Baby’s knowledge of drugs is strong and clearly shows how quickly she lost her innocence. Baby is exposed to many new environments due to her father’s behaviour problems.
Everything goes south the day Baby meets a local pimp, Alphonse. He provides Baby with the affection she never had. As the story continues Baby begins to act strange and waltz around her apartment like a lunatic while she is under the influence of hardcore drugs. She explains, “I danced right up to her [landlady], but she gave me a quick sour look. Then she turned right around and looked the other way. Her look sobered me up. As I walked up the stairs, everything took on it usual colours and I felt very down. She was the second person in less than an hour that had been disgusted with me (Neill 169) Baby is not the same person she use to be, her drug use has changed her immensely. Her local pimp friend is only leaving a huge negative impact and only brings out the worst in Baby.
Baby’s drug addiction
After continuing reading the first chunk of the novel, I have discovered some of the Archetypal figures that are being used by the author to represent many specific characters in the novel. An Archetype, the trickster is an individual that uses their knowledge to play tricks and breaks rules in the society. In this case Jules, Baby’s father, as well as Alphonse play the archetypal figure.
Representation of the trickster Archetype
Jules convinces Baby to leave the house and spend time with her friends while he is at home getting high, she is falling for his tricks and worsening Jules’s terrible habits. As for Alphonse he drags Baby down with him by giving her drugs to try and manipulate her into spending a lot more time with him and after spending more and more time with each other Baby says, “I was a little obsessed after that, no one has ever made me feel that wild, unusual way before.” (O’Niell 162). Alphonse took Baby’s innocence by sleeping with her.
The most prominent symbol so far in the novel is the rag doll that was given to Baby by her mother. It clearly represented Baby’s life, it was old and falling apart.It demonstrated how she tries holding onto her childhood for as long as she can Baby explains, “The doll made me feel that at some point, even before I existed, I had been loved” (O’Niell 98). The rag doll was a portrayal of her relationship with her father because it is demolished and unattractive but she will love it just like she will always love her father no matter how much trouble he causes.
Baby’s childhood doll
O’Neill, Heather. Lullabies for Little Criminals: a Novel. HarperCollins, 2006, New York. Print.