How is Mr. Pearson characterized in "Raymond's Run"?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Toni Cade Bambara provides the reader with an indirect characterization of Mr. Pearson in “Raymond’s Run.” She does not specifically state his character attributes by saying he is kind or caring. Instead she describes him, allows the reader access to Squeaky’s thoughts about him, and includes his dialogue with her.

Mr. Pearson is the man who makes sure the runners are signed for the May Day race. The author describes him as carrying and dropping many items, therefore he could be described as being discombobulated. It is interesting that he walks around on stilts, it makes him comedic. The neighborhood children used to take advantage of him by calling him “Jack and the Beanstalk.” He does not take kindly to his nickname but he feels it is appropriate to call Squeaky by hers.

Then here comes Mr. Pearson with his clipboard and his cards and pencils and whistles and safety pins and fifty million other things he’s always dropping all over the place with his clumsy self. He sticks out in a crowd because he’s on stilts. We used to call him Jack and the Beanstalk to get him mad. But I’m the only one that can outrun him and get away, and I’m too grown for that silliness now.

When he begins to ask Squeaky to throw the race, the reader might conclude that he is trying to be fair to the other contestants, but it is obvious that he does not understand how important winning the race is to Squeaky.