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The memoir's beginning lays bare all of Jeannette's hitherto pent up insecurities about her troubled past. Though she has escaped the substandard circumstances that characterized her childhood, Rose Mary's appearance by the dumpster is a symbol that Jeannette cannot ever fully hide from her past life of poverty and periodic homelessness. The story and the fear of it being discovered could always be lurking behind any city corner.
The title of the section alone resurrects the lurking feeling of shame Jeannette felt before embarking on this project. Entitled, "A Woman on the Street", the section contains no direct reference to Rose Mary Walls nor does it outright acknowledge the relation between the "woman on the street" and the author of the book.