How does Mrs. Aarons treat Jess compared to his three sisters, and how does this make Jess feel?
Jess's mom, Mrs. Aarons, expects him to do all the chores while letting the girls sweet talk or wheedle their way out of doing the work. Since Jess's dad works long, hard hours, she probably expects him to do the man's work around the house. Mrs. Aarons seems worn out with life, tired of taking care of a family. Probably the poverty of the family has taken its toll. Perhaps she wants more in life for her daughters than she has, so she takes it easier on them. Jess will have to support a family one day, so he needs to learn to be responsible and work hard. Jess did not believe that his mother liked him very much and favored the girls over him. It was not until Leslie's death that she became more loving to her son, probably because the family was afraid at first that Jess, too, had drowned. Instead, he was gone for the day to Washington with his music teacher to see museums. His little sister did not relay the message, and mom had been asleep when he got permission. I believe Leslie's death will make the family members more caring of each other (except for maybe the two older girls who are too used to getting their own way first).