character analysis

Henry’s physicality. 

  • How would other people describe the character’s physical appearance?
    • disgusting monster, “Mommy! What’s wrong with that man’s face,” (128).
  • How would you describe the character’s strength, endurance, and coordination when it comes to physical activity and sports?
    • Henry describes himself as “growing larger physically”, but he’s still not chosen for the homeroom teams (80).

Henry’s inner life.

How would you describe the character’s imagination?

While Henry was a student at Chelsy High, he would use his imagination to get out of trouble. His teacher asked the class to hear the President speak on a Saturday afternoon, which would be impossible for Henry because he had to mow the lawn or his father would beat him. His alternative was to look at the paper that came our early Sunday morning, reading about the highlights of the event, then writing about it as if he were there (82). This is a key scene in the novel, the moment Henry discovers his passion for writing, even when he lies, people seem to like it more. He lied about going to hear the President speak because he feels uncomfortable expressing the truth about his home environment and feels there will be less of a consequence if he pretends he went to the event. Lying and pretending are key themes in the novel which can be found in scene 19.

How would you describe the character’s outlook on life?

  • Life is painful, and there’s value in lying because humanity is cruel and you have to fend for yourself at times. He turns to alcohol to escape from reality; “I have found something that is going to help me, for a long long time to come,” (96).
  • In order of importance, name three things that make the character really angry?
    • Not being able to vocalize my thoughts. I have immense difficulty forming my ideas into a structured sentence, often comes out as gibberish.
    • Teachers that don’t try to accommodate different learning styles. This video explains what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
    • Stepping on a Lego piece.
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