64 pages 2 hours read

Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Themes

The Cyclical Nature of Domestic Violence

It Ends with Us foreshadows Lily’s experience with the cycle of domestic violence by introducing the readers to Ryle Kincaid as he is going through one of his rages and repeatedly pummeling a chair. Watching him, Lily thinks of her father, whom she despises for having been abusive to her mother. She will make this connection again after she and Ryle are a couple and he assaults her. At that point, Lily will begin to see herself as her mother, toward whom she’d long harbored resentment. Lily will come to recognize that like her mother, she finds herself wanting to excuse Ryle’s behavior and believing that it will improve, despite evidence to the contrary.

Lily discovers that the cycle of domestic violence sustains itself through self-delusion and fear: the self-delusion that the perpetrator will stop, and the fear of breaking the relationship. In Lily’s case, her fear is brought to the forefront once she learns that she’s pregnant with Ryle’s child. She doesn’t want her child to grow up in a broken home, but neither does she want to bear Ryle’s abuse, or for her child to witness said abuse the way Lily witnessed her mother’s. To break the cycle is not only to take a stand for her own self-worth, but also to allow her child to have a positive relationship with her father.

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