What are the reasons that Bud should stay in Hooverville in Christopher Paul Curtis's Bud, Not Buddy?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is the character of Deza Malone who tells Bud that he should stay in Hooverville.  Her reasoning echoes the general reasoning for Bud to stay:  the Hooverville provides food, shelter, safety and sympathetic characters.  Hoovervilles, of course, can also be referred to as “cardboard jungles,” or makeshift cities that popped up all over the United States during the Great Depression because so many people became homeless.  Hoovervilles are named after President Herbert Hoover who was blamed by many for the Great Depression. 

Deza Malone learns that Bud (and Bugs) are planning to “ride the rails,” and warns them against doing so due to their lack of experience.  Deza is especially concerned about possible encounters with “railroad cops” who tend to be very cruel as they round up people who try to ride the train for free.  Meanwhile, the reader sees other people in the Hooverville reach out to Bud and Bugs.  The two boys are immediately invited to share a good meal (in exchange for help with the cleanup) and then invited to stay the night. 

The irony of your question is that Bud would not have been able to stay in the Hooverville because it is destroyed by the Flint police.  They burn the makeshift homes and even shoot holes in the cooking pots so that they can no longer be used.  Bud’s friend, Bugs, makes it on the train, but Bud does not.  Because of the sounds of crying emanating from the ruined camp, Bud decides to move elsewhere.

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Bud, Not Buddy

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