The Great Gilly Hopkins Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

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Can you provide some examples of flattery in The Great Gilly Hopkins?  

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Occasions of flattery are peppered throughout the story of The Great Gilly Hopkins. Probably the most prevalent examples occur at the dining table, when Mr. Randolph lavishly praises Mrs. Trotter's cooking. Almost every meal that they share together includes Mr. Randolph telling Mrs. Trotter that it is the most delicious food he has ever had the pleasure to eat. Though a form of flattery, Mr. Randolph's compliments seem to stem from a genuine place of appreciation at being included in the cherished setting of family mealtime.

At another point in the book we see flattery of a different sort. Gilly makes William Ernest a paper airplane as part of her plan to obtain his unknowing assistance in stealing money from Mr. Randolph's house. As William Ernest flies the plane, Gilly oohs and aahs over his skill and technique, at one point even asking if he has taken lessons to learn how to fly a paper airplane so well. Again, this is all part of her ploy to gain his trust.

 

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