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Stevie is a passionate young girl, and the action words that describe the things she does are vivid and emphatic. Instead of walking down the porch steps, she stomps, and when she talks, her eyes glitter. In the chapter entitled "Miss Priss," Stevie thinks that Beauty has been spying on her, and when she confronts her sister, her eyes darken expressively, and she grabs agitatedly at the straps of her backpack. Stevie denies having had sex with her boyfriend, but Beauty knows that she often lies. Knowing Stevie's nature, Beauty worries about her, but she is no match for Stevie's quick mind and her barbed, sarcastic retorts.
Stevie's intensity, as expressed in her actions, makes her a formidable character. It is difficult to win an argument with her, just as it is hard to get her to listen to advice, however well-meant. I think that Beauty's concerns about Stevie are justified, knowing her impulsive, fiery nature, but it is that same nature that makes it hard to tell her anything she does not want to hear.
Later in the book, in the chapter entitled "Running Away to Florida," Stevie has just learned that her parents are sending her away to Florida. Stevie is furious, and expresses her anger by lying on her mattress, grunting and groaning, and "kicking her legs so hard on the mattress, you think she's going to kick right through it." Stevie's rage is so intense that it is impossible to comfort her. When Beauty tries to say nice things to her as she is thrashing around on her mattress, Stevie reacts angrily, focusing her ire inappropriately on Beauty.
I think that Stevie's hot-blooded personality can be a blessing or a curse. If she learns to temper and direct it, she will be able to accomplish great things, as her passion will be translated into determination. If she does not learn to focus her extreme energy and feelings, however, she could get into a lot of trouble. Already, her temper causes her to be unapproachable and unreceptive to constructive criticism; if she does not learn moderation, she may someday find herself in a situation where her passions explode in a way which may be unacceptable and hurtful to herself and others.
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