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Remembering Karen

             Karen Simmins was a 20 year old addicted to heroin and barbiturate's when she died. She lived with her mother, father, two sisters and brother in Richmond, B.C. She came from a family of writers and after she passed away her two sisters, one younger and one older, decided to write about their experiences of living with Karen. Her younger sister, Marjorie Simmins, wrote about growing up with her and how Karen was her best friend, until Karen's drug problem became too much of a problem. Her older sister, Zoë Landale, wrote about the events of Karen's life in a seemingly emotionless piece of writing. Both writers have the same plot, drug related events getting worse up until Karen's death on Christmas day. Each author also writes about how the death affected them and their family. The two writers talk about the same subject matter but have two radically different views of their sister in the their writing.
             Zoë and Marjorie show two different views of Karen's life in their writings: Zoë Landale's "Remembering Karen- and Marjorie Simmins' "Trips from There to Here-. Marjorie decided to try to become her best friend so she could look over her. "I decided to be friends with her, to move beside her, where I could keep her in my peripheral vision."" (Trips from There to Here, Page 60) Marjorie showed love for Karen and wanted to keep her safe from the drugs and help her stay away from them by playing with her. Zoë never writes about how she loved or cared for her sister. "I didn't love Karen, so it might as well be me- (Remembering Karen, Page 57) Zoë seems to have no emotional attachment to her sister, she thinks of Karen as just her mother's daughter but not her own sister. The most significant part thing that tells us who cared for Karen is the spelling of her name. "You asked us to spell it Karin. - (Remembering Karen, Page 57) Marjorie always spells her name "Karin- while Zoë always spells it "Karen-, this shows that Marjorie cares for her to still respect her wishes and Zoë does not.

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