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  • "More and more I began to think inside myself, I don't want to sell herring for the rest of my days. I want to learn something. I want to do something. I want some day to make myself for a person and come among people." p.66
  • I can't live by my father's rules anymore! I just won't!
  • I've got to live my own life. It's enough that Mother and others lived for you." p.137
  • I refuse to work for you and be treated like a slave and nothing else!
  • How dare you disobey me!
  • "My heart sank to my feet. But I forced myself to hunt on." p.158
  • Finally, my own room all to myself!
  • After Father drove away daughters Bessie and Mashah's men, Sara cannot stand his preaching in the house. She then realizes that she's different from her sisters because she truly hates her father. Sara decides that she does not want to follow Father's rules. She wants to do something with her life like getting an education, instead of selling herring forever.
  • "Never before or since in all my life had I worked as hard during the first term. I was not only earning a living and getting and education, I was trying to break into this new college world." p.221
  • How can I fit in here and do so much all at once?
  • Sara explains to her Father that she is leaving the house to work in New York. She is not like her sisters and will not put up with being his working slave anymore. Father is furious because she is disobeying him. He then strikes her cheek, and she heads out the door, in hope of getting an education and her own place.
  • "Now I was the teacher. Why didn't I feel as I had supposed this superior creature felt? Why had I not the wings to fly with? Where was the vision lost?" p.269
  • My poor mama
  • As Sara begins her journey alone, she has to find a place to live. She succeeds and pays rent in advance and lives in a single room by herself. She realizes how lonely it is and what a luxury it is for a poor girl like her to have such a place.
  • "It wasn't just my father, but the generations who made my father whose weight was still upon me." p.297
  • Once Sara enrolls in school she gets hit with the work load of going to school and working at the same time. She also come to the idea that she may have to start dressing and becoming more like her peers around her. It's a different world for her, but she's determined to fit in and manage her time well.
  • When Sara finally becomes a teacher after all her hardwork at school, she visits her family. Her mother became sick, then shortly after she passed away. Her father is left by himself. Her sister's believe she's the one to care for him but she thinks otherwise. Sara feels like she has completed her goal but is not completely satisfied at this moment.
  • Sara allows her father to live with her after his unwillingness to stay with his new wife any longer. She feels as if she has to care for him, but is also in the same situation from before when she left all those years ago. Her independence caused her to reach her dreams, but her father's way of life is still around her. She then describes a weight that her father still adds to her life.
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