In Walter Dean Myers' Somewhere in the Darkness, what are Jimmy's character traits?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Walter Dean Myers' Somewhere in the Darkness, Jimmy is a young teen. In the story, we learn that he lives with his mother Mama Jean who takes good care of him. She worries about and loves him. He is not a "perfect kid." When Mama Jean leaves for work, he contemplates whether he will go to school or cut. He is a young man of conscience; he recalls what has been said about going to school before, and he recognizes that Mama Jean knows what the right thing to do is.

"The boy has got to realize how important education is," his teaher had said to Mama Jean. "Especially for our people."

"I'm going to stay on him," Mama Jean had said.

When they got home Mama Jean had lectured...He hadn't answered, just listened. There was nothing to say; he knew she was right.

The problem is that tenth grade is turning out to be much harder than ninth grade was.

Trying to decide, Jimmy goes into the living room to watch TV and get dressed. He imagines scenarios involving his arrival at school.

In one he went and Mr. Haynes met him at the door and asked where he had been.

"Sick," he answered.

"You have a note?"

He could write one and sign Mama Jean's name to it, he thought. Mama Jean would have a fit if she found out, though. She'd be hurt, too.

This tells the reader that he cares about Mama Jean, and not only doesn't want to make her mad, but doesn't want to hurt her.

The reader also discovers that when Jimmy doesn't go to school, he often finds himself walking and daydreaming. So Jimmy has hope and wishes that he visits in his mind. In this sense, he seems a sensitive young man.

He can be defensive, like when the psychologists asks questions about his mother and his father. However, he still has a long way to go to understand the world—which includes his father. His father shows up one day after a nine-year absence, accused of a crime that he wants to prove to Jimmy he has not committe.

In the journey within this story, Jimmy discovers more about himself, including his capactiy to forgive.

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