In Out of the Dust, what is Billie Joe's main plan to get out of her dusty and harsh environment?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Billie Jo's central hope is that she will be able to use her considerable talents and skills in order to escape the kind of bleak and barren life that she lives in Oklahoma. Note the way that she is clearly intelligent and gifted, as her test scores and piano playing show. In addition, Billie Jo is shown to possess considerable self-confidence and ambition, and wants to display her talent and gain fame. She clearly has a desire to travel beyond the Dust Bowl that she feels restricts her life and opportunities so harshly. Consider the following quote:

And I think some day I'm going to
walk there [California] too,
through New Mexico and Arizona and
Some day I'll leave behind the wind,
and the dust
and walk my way West
and make myself to home in that distant
of green vines and promise.

Billie Jo is therefore a character that is all about escape and the desire to use whatever talents she has in order to secure that escape. She is an adventurous, self-confident and ambitious individual who is determined to leave the confines of the world that she sees as entrapping her so severely.


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