What is the exposition of "Raymond's Run?"

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The exposition of a story introduces the setting, characters, and conflict.  Exposition is very important to a story because it sets the stage, introducing the reader to the story’s world and the people in it.

This story takes place during the days leading up to a May Day race, and revolves around a young girl named Squeaky.  She is a good runner, and she is focused on winning the race because she has a somewhat difficult life.  She has to take care of her older brother, who is mentally handicapped, and worry about other kids teasing her.

But a lot of people call him my little brother cause he needs looking after cause he’s not quite right. And a lot of smart mouths got lots to say about that too. … if anybody has anything to say to Raymond … they have to come by me.

The introducing of characters is an important part of exposition.  One way is through point of view. We are introduced to Raymond, the playful and not quite right older brother, and Squeaky, the insecure but tough little girl, slowly, through Squeaky’s eyes.  She uses her voice to tell us her story.  Squeaky wants people to believe that everything washes off of her, and she does not have a care in the world, when really she gets hurt by the fact that she has no friends and is stressed with having to care for Raymond.

Squeaky is careful to tell the reader about herself, telling us her faults and turning them into positives.

 I much rather just knock you down and take my chances even if I am a little girl with skinny arms and a squeaky voice, which is how I got the name Squeaky. And if things get too rough, I run.

What Squeaky tells us about herself is only part of the story.  Point of view is key to exposition.  She talks about herself in the first person, and so we get her perspective only.  Her name is a good example of this.  She takes what would be an insult and turns it into a badge of honor.

Squeaky is a young girl who is trying to find her way in the world, through adolescence.  She wants us to think that she is tough and does not care what people think, when really she is like other girls, insecure and somewhat lost.

This is a coming of age story about girls and the challenges they face growing up.  In the exposition, we are introduced to our main character, Squeaky, a girl who has to grow up fast.  She pretends she does not care when she loses friends and has to be both parent and sister to her brother.  As the story continues the author will develop this conflict, and we will see how Squeaky comes to terms with these facts and overcomes them.

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