In "The Man Who Was Almost a Man," what are Dave's parents like? How can I describe them?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They were ordinary people trying to make a living and take care of their children despite poverty and injustice. Dave's parents are sharecroppers. Instead of paying a monthly rent to their landlord, they pay for their house and land by giving a portion of their crop to the landowner each year. The ideal was that eventually the sharecropper would own the house and land, but in reality that rarely happened. Because it was necessary to make the required harvest and be able to put aside some of the crop for their own use, every member of the family had to work.

So, a physical description of the parents might be that they always look tired. We know that the mother wears dresses because the narrator tells us that she keeps their money tucked inside her stocking. The father may look older than his actual age. He would have rough, callused hands and a farmer's tan. I see him dressed in overalls. They are fair and honest people. When Dave accidentally kills the mule, they insist that he work to pay for it. They seem like good people.

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The Man Who Was Almost a Man

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