Sirisha Balla

RED 090-002

Mrs. Ela Browder

01 May 2012

How Lou Ann changed throughout the story?

A transplant from Tug Fork, Kentucky who now lives in Tucson, Arizona, Lou Ann is both a new mother and recently separated from her husband, Angel, who leaves her on Halloween, shortly before she gives birth to a son, Dwayne Ray. Dwayne Ray was born on New Year's Day. Lou Ann is soft, motherly, and worrisome; she fears her own death and the death of her child. She is womanly and more traditional and she feels sad for her husband and expresses her conviction that marriages and love should last forever. As a Kentuckian, she retains the innocence of a small-town girl. Despite this innocence and occasional spates of homesickness, Lou Ann demonstrates her grit by moving to Tucson and then staying there alone to raise a child over the objections of her female relatives.


Lou Ann Ruiz is a loving woman who cares so much about her family that she worries about them all the time. She often sacrifices her own comfort for them.This allows people to take advantage of her and keeps her from standing up for herself. As the text progresses, Lou Ann learns to believe in her more, which makes her a stronger woman. Initially, Lou Ann criticizes unfairly herself both in her words and her actions. When she and Taylor first met, Lou Ann is surprised Taylor wants to live with her saying that she is so skinny and smart and cute and she wants her to stay with her. She refuses to believe someone might like her because she has valuable attributes. This causes her to let people hurt her, as is the case with her husband, Angel. Angel is a Mexican man whom Lou Ann met when he worked in the rodeo in Kentucky.


One day Lou Ann's granny and her mother came to her home. Lou Ann's Grandmother is provincial and harbors many prejudices about Angel's nationality. She hates arid climate in Tucson. Like her Grandmother, her mother also has no interest in seeing Arizona. Lou Ann Ruiz found her Grandmother Logan asleep with Lou Ann's new baby (Dwayne Ray) in the afternoon heat. She claims that she is merely resting her eyes before her trip back to Kentucky. Angel had moved back in with Lou Ann while Grandmother Logan and Lou Ann's mother, Ivy, stayed with her, for Lou Ann and Angel did not want her mother and grandmother to know about the divorce yet. Lou Ann asks her mother whether Granny Logan always lived with her, from the beginning, and she replied that we stayed with her and not she stayed with us. Granny Logan suggests that Lou Ann and the baby come home to live with them, but Lou Ann reminds them, falsely, that she cannot leave because of her husband. Granny Logan has a coke bottle filled with Tug Fork water for baptizing the baby. She reminisces about how Lou Ann was baptized in Tug Fork, and then complains about how Angel is working on Sunday and how she should not expect better from a "heathern" Mexican.

Angel takes advantage of her love and vulnerability. For example, he pretends she got so drunk that she did not remember a meteor shower that never actually took place.Lou Ann's vulnerability comes from her lack of confidence. After spending time with Taylor, who is a strong person, Lou Ann takes steps that allow her to gain more self-confidence. She got a job, which seemed to even out some of her wrinkled edges. She actually flourishes in this job, being promoted in just a few weeks. Later, when Angel wants her back, Taylor said that Lou Ann is going is going to accept him, even after the problems she faced from him, believing that Lou Ann will let her husband take advantage of her again.Instead, she turns him down, finds out the meteor shower never happened, and starts dating another man. She does not immediately jump into a relationship, instead dating casually and retaining her own identity. Lou Ann learns to value herself, and so she becomes a more interesting and attractive person. She no longer says how ugly she is or cuts her hair constantly. Instead, she has a life she has chosen for herself with people who care for and support her.