Describe the relationship between Squeaky and her mother in the story "Raymond's Run."  

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Raymond’s Run,” Squeaky and her mother have differing ideas on the role of young girls, which makes their relationship strained.

Squeaky’s mother cares for their home, while Squeaky’s contribution to the family is to care for her disabled brother, Raymond. This indicates they do not spend a lot of time together.

While she describes the scene at the May Day celebration, Squeaky tells about the year she dressed up as a strawberry in the festivities. When her parents came to watch her dance, they were dressed in their best attire showing their pride in her participation. Squeaky thinks the whole thing is “nonsense.”

I was once a strawberry in a Hansel and Gretel pageant when I was in nursery school and didn’t have no better sense than to dance on tiptoe with my arms in a circle over my head doing umbrella steps and being a perfect fool just so my mother and father could come dressed up and clap. You’d think they’d know better than to encourage that kind of nonsense.

At her age, Squeaky refuses to participate in the dancing portion of the May Day celebration. She shows up just in time for the race, even though her mother would prefer that she joined in the dancing. Squeaky is not a “girly” girl, preferring to show her prowess through her running.

The biggest thing on the program is the May Pole dancing,which I can do without, thank you, even if my mother thinks it’s a shame I don’t take part and act like a girl for a change.

In Squeaky’s mind she is doing her parents a favor by not making them purchase a special dress and shoes that will be used for one day, while she dances and pretends to a “fairy.” She believes you should be yourself and be proud of your individuality, which for her is running her best.

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Raymond's Run

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