In "Raymond's Run," how does the author characterize Hazel's relationship with her brother, Raymond?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Raymond’s Run” Hazel resents having to take care of her brother, Raymond. In the first paragraph Hazel explains, “All I have to do in life is mind my brother, Raymond, which is enough.”

In the second paragraph, she describes Raymond’s disability, which is why her brother needs “looking after.” Hazel’s way of dealing with those who dare to make fun of her brother is to knock them down. As the story progresses, she details her tactics for keeping Raymond in check such as having him walk close to the buildings to keep him from going in the water in the street gutters. If he goes home wet and dirty she is subject to punishment, which she resents. If Raymond manages to get away from her watchful eye, he often upsets the elderly people sitting out in the sun along the street. When this happens, Hazel, who is also known as Squeaky, is the one who has to apologize for his actions. It is not until the end of the story that Hazel’s attitude toward Raymond changes.