How is loss a barrier for hagar?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Loss is a HUGE barrier for Hagar, especially in regards to her mother!  Losing her mother early on, Hagar is never allowed to deal with the death (and never allowed to grieve properly) because of her dad.  Hagar's father doesn't allow emotion because he sees it as a weakness.  As a result, Hagar grows up as a bland stoic who is, nevertheless, strong-willed. 

There is also a barrier of loss due to Hagar's marriage to Bram Shipley.  Because he is not the one "chosen" for her by dad, no one comes to the wedding or supports her in any way.  This is also a loss for Hagar:  the loss of extended family. 

I can't change what's happened to me in my life, or make what's not occurred take place. But I can't say I like it, or accept it, or believe it's for the best. I don't and never shall, not even if I'm damned for it.

Another significant loss as a barrier is Hagar's loss of her least favorite son: Bram. This loss is twofold: Hagar abandons Bram to take her favorite son, John, to the coast.  When Hagar returns, Bram is dying. 

Yet another significant loss as a barrier is Hagar's loss of her favorite son: John. Hagar forbids John from dating and marrying Arlene (due to his high class) and, when they both die in a fatal accident, Hagar loses all emotion and becomes a wall herself. 

In conclusion, it is important to note that Hagar is able to get beyond the barriers of loss only at the end of her own life when she travels to the abandoned cannery on Shadow Point.  There she is able to come to terms with her entire past and die in peace.

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