Describe and analyze the character Push.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Push is the meanest, vilest, most vicious sort of bully imaginable. Push defines life in terms of imperfections and his loathing for imperfection. This is quite a paradox because Push is all imperfection himself, since, in a civilized moral world, hatred, cruelty and abuse are imperfections of the worst kind [paradox: something that appears to be a contradiction of itself but is actually true; e.g., white swans are black (baby swans are black)]. He flounders on the rocks of incomprehension when a new boy who has no glaring imperfections moves into the neighborhood and offers kindness, compassion, understanding, encouragement, help and generosity to the school boys in counterpoint to Pushes hatred and brutality.

When the new boy Johnny Williams tries to offer Push friendship and inclusion, the fist fight that is decisively won by Williams who ends it with a hand offered in friendship instead of an final blow, opens the door for Push to identify Williams imperfection and Push's world is righted once again. Push can't comprehend nor survive in a world where he views as inferior imperfection doesn't exist. Since he is all imperfection himself, that symbolically opens the question of his ability to exist in a world that has even one perfection in it.

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