During one's life they will realize the pain and suffering of this world; whether it is through a death of a family member or a close encounter to death, it will always have a profound effect on him or her. The Novitiate, written by Jean Howarth, depicts a young girl embarking into this world of pain. Little does she know that a simple gopher tail hunt with her brother would into a strong internal struggle within her mind. To gain her brother's acceptance, the innocent thoughts of this girl are then transformed to the painful reality of the real world. Jean Howarth shows that people are often presented with harsh decisions where they must choose whether or not they will sacrifice their own personal beliefs to gain acceptance and approval from ones they love and admire.
Initially, after some argument, a brother agrees to take his younger sister gopher hunting in the Prairies. Using the occasion as a chance to prove her worth, the sister obediently "trotted at his heels" (35) and was "working hard to please" (35). The sister at first was under the impression that the gophers are cute pets and did not understand the real suffering that was about to occur. This is proven in that she simply states, "Judy Craig has a pet gopher" (35). Once again showing her innocence, she wished to take an egg, "I could take one Lucy Oliver took an egg once It hatched", this also strengthened her belief that animals are pets. Throughout the day, the sister tries in every possible moment to prove herself: she "tried to imitate him" (36) and with "her eyes on him were deep with admiration" (36).
However, as the gopher hunting trip continues the girl starts to wonder if she is in more than she bargained for. "Judy Craig's gopher has little hands eats them" (36), once again making reference to Judy Craig, she still believes that gophers are small cute cuddly pets. When her brother begins to act serious and commanding, the girl begins to realize the importance of this gopher hunt, as can be evident in: "don't talk you"ll scare him" (36), " first time and see how it's done" (36), and "He screamed, "Stay back!" (36).