Plainsong Character Analysis

2111 Words 8 Pages
A Village to Raise a Child

“Help me, Mama. I need you to help me.” “It’s too late for that, the woman said. You got yourself into this, you can just get out of it” (Haruf 10). Parents are a main source of comfort and care for children. However, in Plainsong, parent abandonment is a main theme. Ike, Bobby, and Victoria are three characters whose lives change drastically from decisions of their parents. However, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The abandonment of their parents causes hard times, but also creates meaningful relationships with other characters stepping up to the plate to take on parental roles. Ike and Bobby Guthrie are notably affected with the hard times of their mother’s emotional and physical departure. From the beginning
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Ike and Bobby had changed relationships with the townspeople, and their mother. Ike and Bobby had to deal with various rumors about their mother. At this age, they did not have a great understanding of what their mother was truly going through. They just thought she was ill. Simple tasks such as getting their hair cut caused town drama: “I thought your mother moved out. I heard she moved to that little house over on Chicago Street” (Haruf 40). It appears as if the boys did not know how to deal with others talking about their mothers moving out. They were speechless, but felt embarrassed and did not want the rumor to spread further.. This caused them to put on a brave face. Although their family was the talk of the town, Ike and Bobby still tried to keep a relationship with their mother. They still loved her. This is shown when Ike and Bobby visited their mother at the little rental house with a gray shingled roof. When she answered the door, she expected a reason for them to visit. Nevertheless, Ike and Bobby explained how they just wanted to see their mother, “We just wanted to see you. They felt embarrassed and they turned away, looking back across the empty street toward the curb from which they had watched the house” (Haruf 101). Another effect of their mother’s emotional and physical departure was that Ike and Bobby developed a perseverance to vie for their mother’s love. When visiting her, they bought her gifts of perfume with a small box of bubble bath. This was an emotional moment in the story. It seemed as if Ella Guthrie expected her boys to be distant and cold as she was to them. She replied to their gifts with crying and said, “Oh God, what am I going to do about any of this” (Haruf

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