Montreal: Red Light District
Supporting Argument #1
Baby must undergo the struggles of addiction and a broken home at the tender age of 13.
Supporting Argument #1
As Baby grows up, she becomes familiar with Jules's addiction to the “chocolate milk”
(O’Neill, pg. 18), which is street slang for heroin.
Supporting Argument #1
Supporting Argument #1:
Will Baby ever understand the troubles of her fathers addiction?
Supporting Argument #2
Baby is soon introduced to a local pimp, named Alphonse
Supporting Argument #2
Baby strives to maintain a connection and a relationship with men because she is lacking a father figure.
Supporting Argument #2
Baby soon moves in with Alphonse at a local hotel, and starts prostituting.
Supporting Argument #3
“Both did it for the same reason, though: because [they] were both fools who were too fragile to be sad, and because no
one was prepared to give us a good enough reason not to do it" (pg. 287). -Baby’s reasoning behind her heroin addiction
(talking about Jules)
Supporting Argument #3
Baby forgives Jules for all he has done to her, showing maturity.
Conclusion This novel represents the loss of innocence at a young age and the profound
complications that could arise later in life.
Interpretive Song Representation
This song represents Baby's sudden transition into adulthood, and the inevitable loss of innocence. Childhood has
proven to be a precious and valuable necessity in the building blocks of development. Baby
Has undoubtedly proven the tragedies of loosing something irreplaceable such as a childhood, so surreal and
‘Recovery of a lost one’ has been crucial reoccurring theme displayed through the workings and dramatic interpretations of ‘Lullabies for Little Criminals’ by Heather
O’Neil. This novel represents the loss of innocence at a young age and the profound complications later in life. The complete loss of innocence is portrayed with
multiple different experiences over Baby’s brief childhood.
The father, Jules, is not only absent physically, allowing Baby to float from one foster home to the next, but because of his drug addiction, even when he is present, he is absent
& Baby has never known her mother, as she died at a young age. Jules constant absent presence impacts Baby's of innocence and proves to be detrimental to her well-being.
-Baby doesn’t realize that Jules is a bad father. When she was younger, Jules’ drug use didn’t bother her, mainly because she didn’t quite know what was going on. But as she grows up,
she becomes familiar with his addiction and abuse. Baby must learn how to develop into society on her own, using the moral standards learned watching Jules, as Baby grew up
proving this behaviour is infectious.
-Baby without a doubt proves the troubles that are caused without a safe, suitable environment to grow up in. Baby’s father Jules provides a criminally negligent environment and
proves his addiction and struggles with parenthood, can easily play a serious effect on close relationships, like Baby. This can have serious crippling emotional effects and ultimately
deteriorate the quality of Baby's childhood.
-When Baby is growing up, she becomes familiar with his addiction to the “chocolate milk” (O’Neill, pg. 18), which is slang for heroin.
-"No f***ing twelve-year-old gave you those socks... you’re a god damn liar and you’re a whore... You're going to be a pervert! You'll only be fit for drug addicts. Why can't you be a
normal girl? I’d be embarrassed to walk down the street with you” (pg. 156).
- “[squeeze] in next to me. He was in the mood to talk, I could tell... When he was stoned, he was honest. I love it when he told me secrets” (pg. 18). But during his withdrawals Jules
shatters that feeling of security. At any moment he might burst in to a rage and yell
- “Childhood is the most valuable thing taken away from you in life, if you think about it” (pg. 69)
- “The smallest a family can be is two members and that was Jules and me” (Pg. 160)
Comment: Proves Jules awful parenting and overall insecurity in raising a child. How can baby properly grow up, if her father isn’t grown up yet either?
This also shows how angry a drug addict can become without their ‘fix’. This shows to impact a developing mind, and the personal morals. Moral values proved to be destroyed
through use of quotes and evidence. Baby's addicted father sets an example of how baby should hold her relationships and upkeep her life, obviously leading to complications as
shown. Quotation proves Baby’s loss of innocence developed from Jules underlying habits and patterns. Baby sees a criminally negligent lifestyle and grows older accepting this is
morally acceptable in society. Baby’s naive ways have resulted in her understanding and learning differentiating from societal standards and values. These quotes show Baby did not
have an average childhood environment and her lifestyle may be a direct result of many things, one being her father’s addiction and the implications it placed on their family.
Baby has been overexposed to a criminally negligent and active environment therefore struggles with moral contradiction, and personal integrity, as well as
maintaining relationships. Ie: Baby becomes a prostitute, drug addiction etc.
-Baby has displayed criminally negligent and aggressive behaviour throughout “Lullabies for little criminals” and therefore struggles with morals and the understanding of right and wrong. Jules
failure in parenthood and Baby's over exposure to a criminally active environment has lead to the inevitable loss of Baby’s childhood and innocence overall.
-Throughout the novel “Lullabies for little criminals” lead protagonist, Baby proves how difficult growing up, and developing into society as a young woman can be. Baby displays evident examples of
her struggle with personal integrity and self-worth as she attempts to rebuild her broken home. The struggle with understanding herself and acceptance of her personality and physical structure.
-“I knew Alphonse was a pimp and that sooner or later I was going to have to turn a trick” (pg. 215). Not long after she started using heroin
-“didn’t go home the next day or any day after that. Instead, I stayed with Alphonse and continued to get high” (pg. 286).
-”When you’re young, sex doesn’t mean as much, It isn’t sacred. Children make the best prostitutes because they’re the most perfunctory about the whole encounter. The whole act is like a dare, like
kissing a frog or something. It’s nasty while its happening but you forget about it soon afterward. And sometimes it isn’t even that nasty. Whatever it is, it’s so far from love” (ps. 230).
-” Love is a big and wonderful idea, but life is made up of small things. As a kid, you have nothing to do with the way the world is run; you just have to hurry to catch up with it” (pg. 120).
-” “When I thought about my old friends Linus Lucas and Theo, I realized they were not really criminals either. They were like me. We were just acting out the strangest, tragic little roles, pretending to
be criminals in order to get by. We gave very convincing performances.” (pg. 212)
-” “Oh, we had a lot of sex back then in Montreal; it wasn’t just me. Blame it on the cold. The roses in everyone’s cheeks made them seem way more appealing than they actually were. We confused the
indoors with intimacy and electric heating with connection.” ( Pg. 267).
Comment: This adds to the overall thesis of the novel by proving Baby’s loss of innocence through the most mature act possible, sex. Baby illustrates the level of comfort ability and
acceptance she feels for sex, showing she is too young to understand her actions. This results In the ultimate loss of innocence. Baby shows the dangers and influences a criminally
active and unsafe environment can cause to a developing woman.
Baby’s childish pre-hormonal behavior and intimate emotional connections continues to persistently drive her relationships and personal connections throughout the novel
and prove to help sustain her sanity and social recovery, since she never had true means of open communication with her father, Jules.
-Baby, From “Lullabies for Little Criminals” by Heather O’Neil persistently proves to still maintain an intimate childish social and emotional connections with those in her life,
despite the traumatic and disgusting example of relationships, displayed by her father, Jules.
-Baby uses unhealthy emotional relationships to maintain her sanity and create a true means of open communication throughout the novel. Baby has never had a true healthy
connection with someone, so she abuses these relationships manipulating them to drive her sanity and survival skills as learned from her father, Jules.
-“this isn’t right. You shouldn’t have to run around. You need some stability. This isn’t your fault; it’s mine” (pg. 314).
-Jules then tells her all about her mother, who “loved you. She treated you like a doll. But if she would have lived, she would have loved you properly” (pg. 328).
-“He was and probably still is, to this day, the worst-smelling person I have ever hugged. But it was wonderful. He just wrapped his arms all the way around me. He hugged me the
way that parents hug: with them doing all the work.” (pg.127)
-“There are things that are permissible in sex that aren’t permissible elsewhere. You can smack each other and tie one another up and pee on them and strangle them. That’s when
love shows its face. When love takes off its clothes and has a drink. It sometimes takes the most appalling forms. It made the night seem like it was going to last forever.” (Pg.255).
-“From the way that people have always talked about your heart being broken, it sort of seemed to be a one-time thing. Mine seemed to break all the time.” (Pg109).
Comment: This adds to Baby’s loss of innocence by proving that Baby’s relationships in her life are not safe and add to the contradiction of morals and self-preservation. Baby
shows her unhealthy relationships are the only guidance she is receiving in the real world after her parental figure Jules left her. Baby uses social relationships to drive her sanity
and find a means to survive. Baby's father left her and she is truly alone in life. If it weren’t for the social connections and beliefs she held from Jules, she wouldn't be alive today.
Baby learned the harsh realize from Jules understanding how to handle, avoid and interpret addiction and severe causes of aggression of intoxication. Baby understands the social
hierarchy on the streets, maintaining her sanity and her life on the dangerous streets of the Montreal red light district.
To conclude, Heather O’Neils “Lullabies for Little criminals” has undoubtedly proven to follow the Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations by
Georges Polti categorize situations that can occur in a story “Recovery of a lost one” has played a prominent theme in Lullabies for Little
Criminals by Heather O’Neill. This situation typically and involves two characters “The Seeker” and the “One Found”. The “Seeker” is
searching for something, and the “One Found” is the entity who is eventually found. This quest pattern has illuminated that the recovery
of a lost one has played a crucial, reoccurring theme displayed through the workings and dramatic interpretations of ‘Lullabies for Little
Criminals’ by Heather O’Neil. This novel represents the loss of innocence at a young age and the profound complication that could arise
later in life. The complete loss of innocence is displayed through Baby’s troubling childhood, of addiction and extreme poverty Baby
passes through many extreme scenarios. She goes back and forth between run-down apartments and foster homes due to the pathetic
father figure in her life. Her father Jules "takes better care of his heroin habit than he does of his daughter"(Harper Collins, 2009). She
experiences abuse and is continually neglected. She also experiments with drugs and sex. Baby’s crippling loss of innocence is displayed
three distinct ways throughout the novel, Firstly The father, Jules, is not only absent physically, allowing Baby to float from one foster
home to the next, but because of his drug addiction, even when he is present, he is absent & Baby has never known her mother, she died
at a young age, Secondly, Baby has been overexposed to a criminally negligent and active environment therefore struggles with moral
contradiction, and personal integrity, as well as maintaining relationships. And lastly, Baby’s childish pre-hormonal behaviour and
intimate emotional connections continues to persistently drive her relationships and personal connections throughout the novel and
prove to help sustain her sanity and social recovery, since she never had true means of open communication with her father, Jules.
“Lullabies for little criminals” By Heather O’Neil undoubtedly represents the loss of innocence through Baby’s upsetting lifestyle and the
tragic recovery of a lost loved one.
"Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel By Heather O'Neill." Welcome to
HarperCollins Publishers Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. .
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Twitter chat with Lullabies for Little Criminals author Heather O'Neill | CBC Books | CBC Radio. (2014, May 26). CBCnews. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from
lullabies for little criminals, by Heather O'Neill. (n.d.). The Keepin It Real Book Club. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://kirbc.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/lullabies-for-
Lullabies for Little Criminals: Heather O’Neill. (n.d.). <i>Brain Vs. Book</i>. Retrieved September 6, 2014, from
Review: Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill. (n.d.). <i>MotherGamerWriter RSS</i>. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from
The Literary Word - Book Reviews: Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill. (n.d.). The Literary Word - Book Reviews: Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather
O'Neill. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://www.theliteraryword.com/2007/03/lullabies-for-little-criminals-by.html
Lullabies for little criminals, by Heather O'Neill. (n.d.). The Independent. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-
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