Describe the tone of the story "Raymond's Run."

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tone of Toni Cade Bambara’s story “Raymond’s Run” goes through a metamorphosis as the feelings of the protagonist change from the beginning to the end. Throughout much of the story the tone is antagonistic as Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker, better known as Squeaky, defends both her brother, Raymond, and herself in their Harlem neighborhood. Squeaky defends the two of them physically and emotionally. Although Raymond is older than Squeaky he is disabled, therefore he is looked upon as her younger brother. The other children in the neighborhood are mean to Raymond but she defends him. Squeaky’s antagonistic attitude spills over into her life both at school and through her friendships. She shows her disdain for people, such as Cynthia Proctor, who she feels are fake and for those who challenge her running ability.

During the resolution of the story an introspective tone surfaces. When Squeaky wins the May Day race it is a victory, but she sees her brother in a different light. He was able to run stride for stride with her so she sees him as a person who is able to accomplish things in spite of his disabilities. In addition, she faced a challenge from Gretchen P. Lewis in the race. Squeaky begins to think of others instead of focusing only on herself and her pursuits.