In the story "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote, what are the character traits of Buddy's friend, the older woman?

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kathynichols eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Buddy’s friend, who is actually never named, is an interesting combination of innocence and wisdom. Although in her sixties, she is still like a child both in her actions and experience. Her life has been so sheltered that she has never been to a movie or eaten in a restaurant. She does, however, appreciate the beauty of nature and she passes this appreciation to her seven-year-old cousin. In addition to this “simple wisdom,” she possesses the magical quality of taming hummingbirds, but she doesn’t know that it’s a bad idea to give whiskey to a child. She has the courage to venture into the “sinful” territory of Mr. Haha Jones, but she is brought to tears by “Those Who Know Best,” the two relatives who seem to be in charge. These contradictory characteristics make Buddy’s friend realistic in spite of the nostalgic tone of the piece – a tone that could have made her too good to be true.

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A Christmas Memory

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