Squeaky dismisses Gretchen because she thinks she is a phony, and this shows how important effort and authenticity is to Squeaky.
To Squeaky, Gretchen is inferior because she is all talk. While Squeaky works hard and makes no secret of the amount of effort it takes her to do something, she does not appreciate Gretchen’s posturing.
So as far as everyone’s concerned, I’m the fastest and that goes for Gretchen, too, who has put out the tale that she is going to win the first-place medal this year. Ridiculous. In the second place, she’s got short legs. In the third place, she’s got freckles.
Squeaky does not seem to make friends easily. Part of the reason why is her tendency to be judgmental. She holds herself to a high standard, and definitely holds others to the same one. She cannot stand it when, for example, Cynthia Procter pretends she is an ace speller or a piano prodigy, when she knows that Cynthia does in fact practice.
A regular prodigy. I could kill people like that. I stay up all night studying the words for the spelling bee. And you can see me any time of day practicing running.
Squeaky also blames Gretchen for stealing her friend Mary Louise. Mary's behavior is further prove that girls are disingenuous. She says that when girls smile at each other, they do not mean it. This is another example of her not seeing girls her age as sincere, especially Gretchen. Squeaky finally does accept Gretchen as a possible friend when Gretchen comes in second in the race. This shows that Gretchen is worthy, and she would make a good possible friend.
The deck is stacked against Squeaky because she has to spend a lot of her time chaperoning her older brother Raymond, who has special needs. Squeaky feels protective of him and is often on the defensive against other kids who make fun of him. The race shows her that she can make friends, and is a turning point in her relationship with other kids.