They say opposites attract, and this couldn’t be more true in this story. This is a love story of a bond between two adolescences that embodies that idea. Analyzing the book cover alone expresses the huge contrast of their individual image. It’s not until you’re engage in the book that you recognize not only the difference in their physical attributes, but also their differences in family dynamics. It’s hard not to ask, how their relationship developed so significantly with such a great deal of difference between the two. That’s because their differences are what attract them to each other. After studying the story I was able to determine that Eleanor’s broken home draws her to Park, and because Park is so caring he was drawn to Eleanor’s unique style and personality. That is to say that the differences between the two couldn’t be greater, but ultimately that’s what allows them to share their unique perspectives and brings them together.
Eleanor’s Family situation is far from an ideal one. They were a very poor family and she has 5 brother and sisters, one half-brother whose father plays the role of “evil step father”, a very beautiful mother who has self-esteem issues who married an abusive drunk. This family is the definition of dysfunctional. “You looked at Eleanor’s mom and think she must be carved into the prow of a Viking ship somewhere or maybe painted on the side of a plane”. This quote was just one of many that described the beauty of Eleanor’s mother. It brings many questions as to why she chose to stay in an unhealthy relationship. ”Her mother was standing at the stove standing more still than usual. You couldn’t even notice the bruise on the side of her face or the hickey under her chin” Her mother proves to me and the readers how insecure and abusive Ritchie (her husband) is. Incidents like these, are what cause Eleanor to be scared to flush the toilet in the middle of the night. It shows how unpleasant his presents is in the home. If lacking a happy home is not enough, Eleanor’s family finances are so bad that she can’t afford the simple necessities in life. “Maybe on the way home she will tell him she had no phone, washing machine or toothbrush” this part of the story reveals how critically deprive she is and how it affects her interactions with park
Park’s Family dynamics on the other hand are the complete opposite. Compared to Eleanor,Park’s family life is very simple and painless, except for the few occasions he bumps heads with his younger brother. “Despite their size Park’s way of maintaining older brother status was to act like he can still kick Josh’s ass” this shows how insignificant and small Park’s family problems are. His dad was in the Army when he met and married his mother in Korea. Besides their ethnic differences Park’s mother and father are a very happy couple. “Mindy!!” is how Park’s dad came home every night, like the dad in the sitcom Lucy, and his mom would call out wherever she was “In here”. This shows how picture perfect his family is, as Park compares his parents to a fifties sitcom which is the epitome of a perfect couple. “…they did this every night too, full on make out session no matter who was around.” As if Park’s home couldn’t be more perfect, this last quote just verifies the contrast between Eleanor and Park’s families. The happy loving affection between Park’s parents was completely lacking in Eleanor’s. This can explain the Eleanor’s insecurities that Park constantly building up.
The previous two paragraphs illustrate the contrast between both Eleanor’s and Park’s families. The question is how do their differences bring them together? Eleanor’s family is very poor so her clothing is not normal and that causes her to get bullied. Where many people find her awkward and a target, Park finds this attribute attractive because she is different, and he sees this as her being creative. Eleanor appears to be the opposite of Park’s mom, and park is very close to his mom. ”Parks nervous about showing Eleanor to his parents since his mom is a beautician who sells Avon and who got upset at an actress on SNL for wanting to look like a man”. Park being nervous shows how much his mom opinion means to him, at the same time it describes his mom’s image and how different the two women he adores are. No one at home or school is nice to Eleanor, she is faced with verbal abuse everywhere she turns. From being called big red at school by her peers to being called a bitch at home from her step-father. Park is very nice to Eleanor, and she finds his family to be warm and welcoming, they are everything that her family isn’t. When something negative happens at Eleanor’s house, she seeks refuge at Park’s home. Eleanor’s step dad puts her down, but she doesn’t defend herself because she doesn’t want to get kicked out. Park defends Eleanor when she gets picked on. He fights his classmate Steve after the bus ride to school because of his constant bullying towards Eleanor. “leave my girlfriend alone!!” was an epic scene in the book because it showed the readers, Eleanor, and their peers his profound feelings towards Eleanor. In aspect of Eleanors, Park seems to fill in the gaps of her shattered self. While at times Eleanor reaction to parks love is to push away, Parks happy loving upbringing results onto displaying his positive affection towards her.
Opposites attract, because they complement each other. Discuss times where Eleanor’s family history and background have served to help Park, and how Park’s situation have served to help Eleanor. Talk about how difference is good, and how in this case it has allowed two people to find meaning in life. Although Eleanor’s family ended their relationship they didnt end their bond. Through out the whole story many bumps and blocks cross their paths but at the end of the book one thing still remained the same ney together, their love.