What are some traits of the narrator in "Raymond's Run"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Squeaky is responsible, street-wise, loyal, unselfish, mature, sensible, and loving.

  • Responsible and Street-wise

In the exposition Squeaky states that her assignment in life is to "mind my brother Raymond, which is enough." She asserts her acceptance of this role as she alludes to how others would ridicule Raymond when her other brother, George, took care of Raymond, but she does not tolerate any cruel words from others.

When she runs down one of the streets of Harlem, Squeaky keeps Raymond on the curb or has him walk on the inside of the wide sidewalks on which she runs. Also, Squeaky knows the areas where she can run, and she is aware of what people to avoid.

  • Loyal

One day as Squeaky runs down the sidewalks of Broadway with Raymond on the inside, she notices that three girls are coming her way. One of them, "a fat girl" named Rosie, always says cruel things about Raymond, so Squeaky sees "right away that it's going to be one of those Dodge City scenes." When Rosie asks Raymond what grade he is in, Squeaky retaliates, telling Rosie to talk to her if she has anything to say to her brother. Gretchen, who likes Squeaky walks away and the others follow.

  • Unselfish

As she races along for the May Day competition, Squeaky watches out for Raymond; then, she realizes how well, although oddly, Raymond runs. After she wins, Squeaky dwells not on her prize, but on how she can train Raymond now and he will be a winner. She imagines his winning, "...Raymond, a great runner in the family tradition."
Squeaky thinks more about Raymond's future than about the fact that she has won the race because she has so many awards--"...I've got a roomful of ribbons and medals and awards. But what has Raymond got to call his own?" Also, she considers asking Gretchen if she would like to help her with the training.

  • Mature and Sensible

After she wins, Gretchen is a gracious loser, so Squeaky looks over at her and smiles. "We stand there with this big smile of respect between us," Squeaky observes; this smile, she maturely realizes, is unlike those phony ones of girls to which she has earlier alluded.

  • Loving

After she wins, Raymond runs over with his arms behind him and his "teeth showing...by the time he comes over I'm jumping up and down so glad to see hims--my brother Raymond...."

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