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Parental Influence of Jill McCorkle: How her parents shaped her writing

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Parents have more influence on their children than anything else they come across in the world. This is true even in “The Mullet Girls.” Jill McCorkle describes many of her parents’ traits and beliefs that lead to how she viewed the world.

From the start you can tell that her mother has a very conservative opinion. Jill goes on to explain why they stay in the little town when they go on vacation. Instead of the big cities they used to visit. “We had stopped going to Ocean Drive and Myrtle Beach, which had become a haven for teenagers and college kids who wanted to party.” (McCorkle pg.46) Jill notes that she and her sister had heard all about the things girls should not do and what not to be. You will also notice her mothers beliefs when she used, “girls hanging out of car windows with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths,” as examples. (McCorkle pg.46)

The views of her father were mostly expressed through fishing. She took pride in, “being the daughter who could touch anything stinky and slimy without flinching.” (McCorkle pg.42) Her father enjoyed just watching the ocean far more than he enjoyed the fishing but felt that he needed fishing as an excuse. Jill also tells us her father was depressed, saying that, “He talked about depression long before it was an acceptable thing to talk about, taking great solace in the knowledge that both Lincoln and Churchill had been fellow sufferers.” (McCorkle pg. 44)

After reading this story multiple times I believe that the influence of her parents is not a main part of this narrative essay. I feel that Jill McCorkle started making her own assumptions that summer. That she was less influenced by her parents and more influenced by “Glamour” magazine. Jill sees what is going on with her parents and takes note of how they act out daily life, and at the same time she wants to make her own decisions. She is starting the trend of adolescence that society says she should follow. Instead of following the influence of her mother about not hooting at boys and dressing conservatively she wants to attract boys at some degree and begins to go against her mother’s beliefs and follow her own. Johnny, her father, had a great deal less influence on Jill this summer since she was becoming more “girly.” Instead of baiting hooks all the time she was more likely to be spraying her hair with lemon juice. Although he lost influence with her as his surrogate son he influenced her enough in the end for her to write a story about it.

When the “Mullet” girls showed up after dark offering a great deal more than fish, her father turned them down. When Johnny, “more or less said, Thank you very much but no thanks,” Jill looked at her father differently from then on. She never forgot her father turned down temptation without a second thought, and that she now knew how much the life he had was really worth to him.

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