Marcus tries to help his mother since his father is away fighting the war.
An example of Marcus being helpful is that he takes over his father’s role in the domestic routine and doesn’t complain about the state of disrepair the house is in.
Since his father is away in the Afghanistan war, Marcus tries to fill the void left by his absence. He makes coffee from himself and his mother, and he keeps up the farce that everything is okay and no one is worried.
Marcus looks after his sister, and tries to keep a stiff upper lip. He understands that his mom works at Wal-Mart to distract herself. His little sister has a support group, but he does not go to the support group for his own age.
Talk was just talk, and I wasn’t going to be wasting my breath complaining or crying about something. The secret was to buck up and get down to it. (ch 1)
Marcus’s attempts to be positive are not much more than magical thinking, or thinking that something is true because you thought it. He tries to be tough, when in reality he is sad and frustrated, and worried about his father.