To what extent is the book about Lucy's ethnicity?
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Ethnicity surfaces in Lucy's flashbacks of her homeland, a British colony. As a product of the British educational system, Lucy begins to realize the extent of its influence more powerfully once she has left her home culture. Lucy remembers as a child being forced to memorize British poems about daffodils, even though she would not see such a flower until becoming almost twenty years old. Even at a young age, Lucy was rebellious toward what she perceived as Britain's oppressive presence; she refused to sing "Rule, Britannia!" in her school choir. The educational system has been pivotal in discouraging rebellion and reinforcing colonial rule. Yet as a child Lucy intuitively understood such motives and chose to rebel anyway. In many ways Lucy shapes her new identity by rebelling against expectations. Lucy's mother expects her to attend nursing school, but Lucy studies photography. Mariah attempts to find Lucy suitable peers as friends, but Lucy befriends Peggy, who smokes and shares Lucy's rebellious spirit. Underneath Lucy's rebellion is a deep-seated anger. She is angry with her mother and at the injustice she perceives that she is born into. Therefore she seeks out a counterculture, and she finds one that involves sex, drugs, and art. This cultural break enables her to work through some of the debilitating issues of her past and possibly to start anew.