In The Education of Little Tree, why did the father of little girl hit her? Explain his reasoning.

Expert Answers

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On page 153 the father takes a switch from a persimmon bush and whips his daughter's legs and back until "the switch wore out" because she is wearing moccasins on her feet. He then takes the moccasins off of her and hands them back to Forrest, telling him that they don't take charity from anyone, "especial heathen savages."

After he leaves with his daughter, Granpa displays compassion toward him. He tells Forrest that the man was upset that he didn't have the money to buy his daughter the things she wanted. He had seen a similar happen once when he was walking past a sharecropper's hut. The sharecropper whipped his two young daughters because they had been browsing through a Sears Roebuck catalogue that contained items he could ill-afford.

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