From "Raymond's Run," describe Squeaky's personality. Was Squeaky defensive, determined, or other traits?
In Toni Cade Bambara's short story "Raymond's Run," Squeaky is bright, perceptive, genuine, determined, frequently defensive, and very loyal.
While she seems somewhat boastful about her running ability, there may be some underlying defensiveness in her boasts. Running is the one thing that Squeaky has to make her stand out from others. Also, Squeaky perceives the hypocrisy in others, like Cynthia Procter, who pretends that she does not prepare for competitions and it is simply good fortune that lets her win. Squeaky wishes to let the reader know that, unlike Cynthia, she is not phony; she is genuinely a good runner and has no false modesty about her talent.
Squeaky, who assumes the responsibility of looking after her brother, is clearly very defensive of Raymond, not permitting anyone to derogate him because they have an unfair mental advantage over her brother. However, it is when Squeaky sees that Raymond has a talent for running that she begins to put other ideas of hers into proper perspective. After she wins her race, Squeaky notices Raymond's agility in climbing the fence that separates them; she also reflects upon how fast he has run.
...it occurred to me that Raymond would make a very fine runner. Doesn't he alway keep up with me on my trots?
As she considers her new plans for Raymond, Squeaky glances at Gretchen and changes her attitude toward her.
I sort of like her for the first time.... Maybe she'd like to help me coach Raymond.... And she nods to congratulate me and then she smiles. And I smile...with respect between us. It's about as real a smile as girls can do for each other....
So, at the end of May Day, Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker has not only won a race; she has made great strides in maturing and ridding herself of negative attitudes.
Squeaky is a determined young girl. She is dedicate to running: it is her greatest joy. She runs everywhere, even while taking care of her brother Raymond who has special needs. She runs always with the idea that more running will make her a better runner, and she works hard at this.
Squeaky is defensive. She is ready to fight if someone picks on her brother Raymond, whether it is a boy or girl, and has a quick, razor-like comeback if anyone gives Raymond or her a hard time.
Squeaky has a strong sense of self and has no problem speaking her mind. One she puts her mind to doing something, she feels comfortable with who she is, what she chooses to do, and had confidence in explaining herself to others.
Squeaky is realistic. When the girls all participate in the May Day dance, she knows that she is not cut out for the fancy dress, shoes and dancing. Running is her gift and her joy. She is focused on this and has no time for behavior that she considers frivolous.
Squeaky is supportive and generous. When she realizes how well Raymond runs, she decides that she is going to do all she can to help him succeed. After all, she has experienced the thrill of running and winning, but Raymond has little to make him feel special the way running makes Squeaky feel special.
Lastly, Squeaky can be forgiving. Although Gretchen has been unkind to her, Squeaky offers an "olive branch"/a gesture of peace (a sign of truce) in the smile she gives Gretchen after the race, and Squeaky believes that together she and Gretchen can help coach Raymond to be a really good runner.