In Bud, not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis, there are certain things that Bud believes are true that a reader may or may not agree with. For example, he accepts help from Mr. Lewis to check his...

In Bud, not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis, there are certain things that Bud believes are true that a reader may or may not agree with. For example, he accepts help from Mr. Lewis to check his teeth and see if he has fangs like vampires. What other "silly" things does Bud believe? Do those beliefs help or hurt him?

1 Answer | Add Yours

tamarakh's profile pic

Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In Christopher Paul Curtis's young reader's novel Bud, Not Buddy, one example of a silly belief held by the title character Bud concerns the frightening experience of losing teeth as he grew older. His first impression when he got his first loose tooth is that it was kind of funny to have a tooth that's the "littlest bit wiggly" (Ch. 1). However, as the tooth became looser, he became more scared. He became even more scared when he pulled the tooth "clean out" (Ch. 1). He even felt like he had lost "control of [his] tongue" because he couldn't keep his tongue out of the new hole in his mouth. To make matters worse, when adults he asked only said that the process is normal, he began to wonder what would fall off of him next, as we see when he says the following:

Unless you're as stupid as a lamppost you've got to wonder what's coming off next, your arm? Your leg? Your next? Every morning when you wake up it seems a lot of your parts aren't stuck on as good as they used to be. (Ch. 1)

Since it's pretty naive of Bud to believe that every part of him could fall off now that his teeth were falling out, this silly belief helps develop Bud's young character. Furthermore, it can be said this silly belief hurts him because it keeps him in a perpetual state of fear.

A second silly belief that hurts him by making him feel more scared can be seen the moment the Amoses lock him in the shed. He fears a roach crawling into his ear and reflects on a time when a roach crawled into the ear of a kid he knew at the Home. The kid screamed bloody murder as caretakers tried to pull out the roach, but when asked about the screaming, he said it was the bug screaming. Bud took the experience so much to heart that he reflects, "And I bet those Amoses wouldn't've even tried to pull the roach out, and who knows how long I'd've had to listen to some terrified roach screaming his head off right up against my eardrum?" (Ch. 3).

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question