What are 10 quotes in the book Rumble Fish that show how Rusty James is scared of being or ending up alone? 

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Readers get two quotes very early on in chapter 1 that start to clue us in to the notion that Rusty is not comfortable with being alone. Take the following quote for example:

Like I said. My memory's screwed up some. If somebody says something to remind, I can remember...

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Readers get two quotes very early on in chapter 1 that start to clue us in to the notion that Rusty is not comfortable with being alone. Take the following quote for example:

Like I said. My memory's screwed up some. If somebody says something to remind, I can remember things. But if I'm left alone I don't seem to be able to.

Being forgetful every now and again happens. Everybody experiences it, and it's normal. What Rusty is talking about is more severe. There is a hint at some kind of memory disorder or long-term symptoms of multiple concussions. Rusty admits to knowing about the memory issues, and it clearly bothers him. What's more important is that he knows that being alone triggers the memory lapses.

A few lines later, Rusty tells Steve that he'd been put in solitary confinement before, and the connotation is that it was a horrible experience. Later in the book, Motorcycle Boy explains to Rusty and readers exactly why Rusty might be so terrified of being alone in any particular situation.

Anyway, he left you alone in the house for those three days. We didn't live where we do now. It was a very large house. She abandoned me eventually, and they took me back to the old man. He'd sobered up enough to go home. I suppose you developed your fear of being alone then.

Another good quote comes when Rusty passes out, and Steve runs off for help. Rusty isn't unconscious for too long, so he wakes up and realizes that he is alone. He essentially panics and runs to find someone and anyone in order to not be alone.

I wasn't out too long, just long enough to scare Steve into looking for some help, so when I came to I was laying there on the roof by myself. I fixed that as soon as possible, almost running to the roof door.

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Although Rusty-James, the main character in Susan E. Hinton's teen novel, Rumble Fish, acts tough and pretends that he can fend for himself, it is apparent that he worries about one day being completely alone. His mother has deserted him, at one point taking his brother, the Motorcycle Boy, with her; she supposedly lives in California, far from their Tulsa home. Rusty-James' father is a drunk who pays little attention to either of his sons. The Motorcycle Boy, too, has taken off, leaving Rusty-James on his own. Home is not a pleasant place, however, and he tries to surround himself with others at all times.

For a tough kid I had a bad habit of getting attached to people. (Chapter 2)

I couldn't take my eyes off the Motorcycle Boy. I thought he was gone for good. (Chapter 3)

"Aw, stick around a while." I was scared he would go. I can't stand being by myself. That is the only thing I'm honest-to-God scared of. (Chapter 3)

It makes me feel good to think of people I like--not so alone. (Chapter 3)

I tried to remember why I liked lots of people... "Maybe because I don't like bein' by myself... Makes me feel tight, like I'm bein' choked all over." (Chapter 7)

He (the Motocycle Boy) was living lin a glass bubble and watching the world from it. It was almost like being alone... and I tried to shake off the feeling. (Chapter 8)

"Apparently it is essential to some people to belong--anywhere"...  That was what scared me. (Chapter 8)

I was in a glass bubble and everyone else was outside it and I'd be alone like that for the rest of my life. (Chapter 11)

 

 

 

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