L.O.V.E four letters, 1 word and also complete bullshit. You’re alone and you don’t know what to do with yourself, you wish you could share your life with someone who has the same interests as you or even the same mindset as you so you could live a happy life and start something you’ve always dreamed of. You finally meet that special someone, you get to know them, you share your deepest darkest secrets, and eventually you have sexual relations with them that could lead to a family and many more generations after that. It’s a life cycle and without “love” the world wouldn’t be how it is today. But that’s not Eleanor’s case. Eleanor on the other hand is a victim of a domestic violent home, very reserved and self-conscious about her oneself, and has trust issues. Many people go through these same situations and it leads to something they wish they never had. Eleanor was too worried about her self-image and her lack of love before she could even open up to someone and love them for who they are and truly believe what they have to say.
The first situation that stopped Eleanor from fully opening up and loving Park was the horrible things going on at her house. Domestic violence is a huge issue not only in the U.S but around the world as well. According to (NCADV) 10 million people nationwide including men and women are victims of domestic violence. Not only does this affect adults but this can also affect children as well. 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence. (NCADV) This just shows how bad this could trouble a growing hormonal teenager. Most teenagers have intimate relationships and they move on with those same acts until they find that special someone, that’s what Eleanor wanted but it seemed impossible to her. Throughout the book Eleanor was being “bullied at school” because someone was writing dirty comments on all of her belongings. Rowell provides examples of Richie’s domestic violence (278) Such as “slut” and really dirty words only an immature teenager would use. After weeks of both of them trying to figure out who wrote these horrible words on her books she eventually found out that it was her step dad Richie. I believe this was one of many reasons why Eleanor couldn’t love Park and be in a normal relationship. Being sexually abused and having a very violent step dad is very complicated especially because she is the oldest sibling in the family the only way she could express her “feelings” were with Park but she couldn’t even do that and open up to him about what was going on at home.
My second belief was that Eleanor’s confidence was very low from the beginning. She came from a really broken home and felt so lost from the start. You can tell she’s very self-conscious about her body image and the way she looks. Although “Huffington Post” states that “adolescence as a unique period of the life span in which self-conscious emotion, psychological reactivity, and activity in specific brain areas converge and peak in response to being evaluated by others.” Eleanor saw the world differently, she was raised unique and was really to herself. Park made her feel like something she couldn’t explain but she never opened up to why she couldn’t be accepted in her own skin until a few miss happenings. The first situation that caught my eye was when she walked on the bus and explained what she was wearing and how she looked so different from all the other girls. As if she was an outsider and didn’t want to be. But since she knew that she wouldn’t fit in with the others she somewhat accepted the way she looked but still had second thoughts about it. Another time was when she met Parks mom. Eleanor kept telling herself that she wasn’t good enough and that Parks mom was really pretty and very opposite of what she is. Being self-conscious about yourself could stop you from loving someone else because you don’t have the courage to love yourself in the first place.
My last belief on why Eleanor couldn’t love park is that she had trust issues. Not only with herself but with people around her. Such as the bullies at school, her step dad, and maybe even Park. How could you trust someone who is abusing you and your family? The last thing on her mind is to trust someone new in her life. Such as when Park calls her pretty, Eleanor kind of goes crazy and runs to many assumptions on why he thinks she’s ugly. When Parks mom gave her a makeover Park felt something he’s never felt before he saw someone inside Eleanor that he’s never seen and he pointed that out but she took it the wrong way. Also when she came over for the first time and he told her to smile as if he was embarrassed for her to meet his mom. Eleanor was very reserved and had issues that she needed to deal with on her own before she made more.
In conclusion I believe that Eleanor couldn’t love park because she didn’t love herself in the first place. The one thing you need to make “love” last is trust. Eleanor did not have trust in him, even though Park was all up for it there was still things she needed to work on herself to open up to others and to love them fully without any miss happenings. Love makes the world go round and without it we are nothing, it can be complete bullshit but you have to meet the right people and Eleanor and Park just met at the wrong place and wrong time to love one another.
“Statistics.” Statistics, ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.
Thawley, John. “Introduction – Domestic Violence.” Domesticviolence.org, domesticviolence.org/. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.
Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. New York, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2016.
Chan, Amanda L. “Why Teens Are So Self-Conscious.” The Huffington Post,
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 9 July 2013,
Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.