Constant evolution has molded the human race into an autonomous species continually undergoing changes. It is indeed in our nature to learn from certain experiences and to adapt to them accordingly. In the case of the protagonist of Jonathan Franzen's Agreeable, Patty Emerson symbolically detached herself from a family she had never really felt a part of, all while bringing herself closer to her basketball team, her substitute family, by becoming a protector for her teammates. These changes were provoked by how the differences between Patty and her family have always made her feel excluded and how, although she's been perpetually haunted with a feeling of rejection, coach Nigel made her aware that she belonged somewhere. However, this transformation only truly unfolded when Patty realizes that her parents don't actually care about her when they put their personal in front of her well-being. .
To begin with, being much different from the other members of the Emerson clan, Patty has always been made to feel like an outcast. In terms of physique, "she was notably larger than everybody else in the family" (Franzen 1). Not only that, she wasn't as smart as her sisters, in fact, "she was measurably dumber" (Franzen 1). And unlike her sisters who were "attending extraordinary-person Arts daycamp" (Franzen 1), Patty was simply "attending ordinary-person Sports daycamp" (Franzen 1). Patty was obviously a very distinct member of the family, however the disparity between the qualities between Patty and her siblings were made even more significant by how their parents treated them. There was always a type of biased attitude in favor of her sisters for it seemed as if Joyce and Ray deemed Patty's talents and interests less impressive. As a matter of fact, "Patty's first memory of doing a team sport with her mother watching was also one of her last" (Franzen 1). In truth, Joyce never really understood Patty and was never genuinely supportive of her passion and competitiveness when it came to sports.