How does Squeaky compare herself to Cynthia in "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara?

Squeaky does not care at all about seeming to be dramatic or natural, she just works hard and does her best.

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You have already received an excellent answer, above, and I would just add two other elements to the discussion. In "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara , Squeaky certainly speaks her mind--about everything. One of those things is people who, like Cynthia, make a dramatic production out of...

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the things she has chosen to excel at and try to downplay the hard work it takes to achieve excellence. 

Her description of Cynthia is reminiscent of what is known as a "drama queen," someone who pretends and fakes and acts ridiculous over things she should be proud to have worked hard to achieve.

And she’ll clutch the lace on her blouse like it was a narrow escape. Oh, brother. But of course when I pass her house on my early morning trots around the block, she is practicing the scales on the piano over and over and over and over. Then in music class she always lets herself get bumped around so she falls accidentally on purpose onto the piano stool and is so surprised to find herself sitting there that she decides just for fun to try out the ole keys. And what do you know—Chopin’s waltzes just spring out of her fingertips and she’s the most surprised thing in the world. A regular prodigy.

Squeaky is nothing like that. She does not feign inexperience or natural ability; instead she works hard to excel and does not care if everyone knows it. In fact, she says:

I stay up all night studying the words for the spelling bee. And you can see me any time of day practicing running. I never walk if I can trot.

The image of Squeaky and her brother Raymond walking--I mean trotting--everywhere is both amusing and encouraging. This image is much more inspiring than Cynthia's dramatic efforts to seem unrehearsed, and Squeaky is much more honest, as well. 

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How are Raymond and Squeaky alike in "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara?

In “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara, Squeaky and her brother Raymond are alike in a number of ways.

Both Squeaky and Raymond are products of their inter-city Harlem neighborhood. Raymond has developmental disabilities and is usually in Squeaky’s care. She takes him with her wherever she goes. While they travel through their neighborhood, Squeaky practices her breathing techniques while Raymond prances near her and uses his vivid imagination.

Although Squeaky shows off her bravado, she questions many things about her identity. She bases her whole identity on her practice ethic and ability to run.

At the May Day race, Raymond demonstrates how he is similar to his sister when he lines up on the other side of the fence and shows his running prowess. During all of those days spent together when Squeaky thought Raymond was just tagging along, he was really absorbing her practice ethics and love for running. They are both good runners, which is a tradition in their family. Raymond demonstrates his potential as more than just a person with disabilities, while Squeaky realizes she has potential to be a friend and more than runner. At the conclusion of the story, Raymond and Squeaky both show joy at their accomplishments. They are both simply “people.”

And by the time he comes over I’m jumping up and down so glad to see him—my brother Raymond, a great runner in the family tradition.

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