Lullabies for Little Criminals: Baby’s Development

The 2nd third of the book Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill is where we truly start learning about the characters. The first chapter of the 2nd part is titled “Playing Grown Up”. In this part Baby has to take control of her life more than she already is. Her father picks her up from the detention centre, but he seems even more emotionally unstable than before due to him going through withdrawal from drugs.

Baby reminds me of the character Snow White. They both do not have prominent parent figures to help them grow up. They both have to provide for themselves and take life on mainly by themselves. They both face danger in there everyday lives and have to learn how to cope with it.

The difference between Baby and Snow White is that she puts herself in these dangerous situations sometimes. Baby is seeing a pimp named Alphonse. He gets her into drugs and encourages her to do bad things. Luckily she realizes that she is hurting herself by doing this. I know this because she thinks, “I had been so busy destroying my own life that I haven’t realized he was doing the same with his.” (O’Neill 210). This still gives me hope for Baby’s character to change and turn her life around for the good. She is a young girl and still has her whole life ahead of her. Some people also want this for her. It says, “You can make something out of yourself if you want.” (O’Neill 213).

Baby’s journey through life is heartbreaking. She struggles with poverty. This reminds me of the early life of Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They both want things to improve for their family and to escape their poor lifestyle. Luckily, Charlie gets a lucky break. Unfortunately Baby does not. She does find love though, with a boy named Xavier. He treats baby as if she is just a normal person with a good childhood. Nobody makes Baby feel the way Xavier does, not even Alphonse. Baby realizes how happy he makes her when she says, “When I hung out with Xavier, I didn’t want anything to do with Alphonse. I didn’t need him.” (O’Neill 253). Finally she had something good in her life.

Baby’s journey is very devastating, but I believe change is coming in the remainder in the book. She is very young with lots of potential. She is smart and could making a living for herself if she gave up prostitution and drugs. I predict there will be an incident that occurs that makes her change her life around and I am excited to fin out what sparks that change.


O’Neill, Heather. Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006. Print.

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