The Orphan Train
By Christina Baker Kline
Character Analysis (Protagonist)
She is also extremely protective. For example when Dutchy and Vivian go exploring the train station in Chicago and the police get called, Vivian took the blame to save Dutchy from getting in trouble. Also Vivian shows her protective side when they were in Minneapolis and the train stops and the woman wanted to take Carmine, however the woman said she could only take Carmine, even after Vivian's plea that she can cook and clean. This is also another example of loss that Vivian faced during her life.
Niamh had no control over her mentally ill mother's ways nor her brother's drinking. She had no control over the fire that killed her family yet her future was shaped by those events. She became an orphan and she was told that her sister, Maisie, who she took care of, also died. Niamh was sad and alone after this.
Niamh had no control of who chose her on the orphan train. When the Byrnes took her to work in the sewing factory, she was forced to live in a place where they locked the refridgerator and made her do a lot of work. She had no control when they changed her name to Dorothy but she decided to treat the women at work like her family. She learned what it felt like to be treated well by Fanny.
When Mr. Grote, sexually abused Niamh , her decision to run away to her teacher at school shaped where she was placed after that. She had a positive experience with the Nielsen's which lead to her meeting Dutchy again.
Vivian allows Molly to clean her attic and they form a special bond because of the orphan lives and Molly looks into people from Vivians past which allows Vivian to finally meet her daughter.