Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons is a book about the trials and hardships a young girl goes through in the first eleven years of her life. Ellen has to coupe with being abused by her alcoholic father, the death of both parents, and the death of her grand mother.
Ellen goes through many harsh times and situations in the short portion of her life depicted in the book. Because of Ellen's artistic ability she draws oceans and cats, among other things in her spare time. The fact that she lived with an art teacher, and had a wonderful experience would be a reason for her to want to teach art. Ellen might be under the impression that if she was an art teacher she could fell the happiness inside her all the time, like she did when she lived with the art teacher. Because of this, there is a great chance of Ellen becoming an art teacher and working with kids. .
Because of the pain and suffering in her life, Ellen likes to draw pictures of brooding oceans. When thinking of what to draw for her Aunt and Cousin, she says, "I would really like to paint them one of my brooding oceans but they would miss the point." Ellen likes the pictures of oceans more than those of the cats which she can also draw, because they depict more emotion. She says the pictures of oceans look "strong and beautiful and sad at the same time and that is really something if you think about it." The ocean represents the deepth of her soul, and how the first impression of her is evil, but she is really strong and beautiful underneath. Ellen refers to the cats as something with no emotion, she says "I like the picture fine except once you look at it one time you have seen and felt everything you will ever see and fell about those cats." The cats represent the fake things in the world, they are pretty at first glance, but stare to long or hard, and the fraudulent sides are exposed.
Even though Ellen was brought up in an abusive household, I don't think she would be attracted to a man with characteristics similar to those of her fathers.