What are some examples of complex and balanced portrayal of character in Eskimo Pie, Geronimo, and Lizard in "Miracle Boy"?

In "Miracle Boy," Eskimo Pie and Geronimo are brothers. Although they bully Miracle Boy, they do so from the unusual motive of curiosity about miracles and listen carefully to what he tells them. Lizard is also involved, but he feels a strong sense of guilt, particularly when he discovers that he is not going to be punished.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lizard, Geronimo and Eskimo Pie are bullies. Moreover, they are bullying a disabled boy whose feet were severed from his legs in a horrific accident, before being reattached. One might expect such characters to be one-dimensional, or, at best, partially explained by poor background. However, in Pinckney Benedict's "Miracle Boy," these three antagonists are unusually complex. For one thing, they are motivated by curiosity, of a type that is almost religious. The boys want to see where the boy's feet were sewn back on because they are interested to see what a miracle looks like, having read about them in the Bible. They even ask Miracle Boy several times to show them the scars before knocking him down, and later listen with interest to his story about Jesus making the dead man walk.

Geronimo and Eskimo Pie are brothers, and are similar in their actions and reactions. Lizard, however, is somewhat different. He feels a sense of guilt which only increases when he finds that he is not going to be physically punished for his conduct. Lizard lives alone with his mother, who never beats him, and he expects, to be beaten by Miracle Boy's father. Instead, he has to sit and watch a film with Miracle Boy, while his mother brings them drinks and snacks. In place of relief, Lizard feels a sickness, and a desire to atone for what he has done, which is aligned with the religious themes and symbolism of the story.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 23, 2020
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial