The character Esch in Salvage the Bones is a growing young girl who has been taken advantage of by Manny, with whom she is desperately in love. The character and story were both directly influenced by the Greek play Medea, and Esch takes many of Medea's characteristics.
Esch, like Medea, is deeply in love with a man who does not fully reciprocate her feelings and takes advantage of her. Medea loves her husband Jason, who leaves and loves another woman, while Esch is in love with Manny and has been since she first saw him kissing another girl.
Manny also impregnates Esch, but, having found strength and grown throughout the story, Esch refuses him the ability to be the child's father and states that the child is fatherless, much in the same way as when Medea killed her children to remove them from and punish Jason, though certainly not as drastic an action.
Esch closely identifies with the character of Medea, and it's not hard to see why. For one thing, Esch no longer gives what she describes...
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