Good Night, Mr. Tom

by Michelle Magorian
Start Free Trial

In Good Night, Mr. Tom, why is Willie reluctant to invite the group over to his bedroom?

Willie is reluctant to invite the group over to his bedroom because he has a bedwetting issue that he is ashamed of and does not want the group to discover.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 10 of Good Night, Mr. Tom, titled "The Case," Willie is gaining more and more confidence in his academic and social skills thanks to the help of his immediate support systems, including Emilia Thorne and Tom.

This boost of confidence is evident in the way that he...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In chapter 10 of Good Night, Mr. Tom, titled "The Case," Willie is gaining more and more confidence in his academic and social skills thanks to the help of his immediate support systems, including Emilia Thorne and Tom.

This boost of confidence is evident in the way that he starts to connect with peers. He opens up to them with trust and kindness, which shows that he has grown tremendously well under Tom's care. The one thing that Willie has not been able to control yet is his chronic bedwetting, which is a symptom of the extreme abuse he experienced from a time so early in his life prior to living in Tom's home.

To fix the bedwetting issue, Mr. Tom would place a protective rubber sheet on Willie's bed. The process of putting down the sheet and then taking it off in the morning was now natural to Willie, and he would even take care of it in the mornings before going to school as part of his morning chores.

However, meeting with his friends in his room for the first time may betray the fact that he is a bedwetter, and Willie confides to Tom that he feels afraid of being found out.

"They don't know about—you know," and he patted the blankets with his hands.

"The bed-wettin'? You ent ashamed of that, is you?"

Willie nodded.

"Ent no need to mention it. I'll makes yer bed up before the evenin' so's they won't see the rubber. That do?"

As expected, Tom is more than understanding toward Willie and treats the child with the utmost compassion. The bedwetting issue will eventually come to an end, and as the last lines of the novel indicate, Willie will find out how much he has grown, not only in height and weight, but also in love, empathy, and self-love.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team