In "A Christmas Memory", why are Buddy and his older cousin such good friends?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Buddy and his distant cousin share a natural bond, a natural affinity for each other. In a more normal environment it is highly unlikely that they would be friends. However, their common estrangement from a hostile adult world throws them together and provides a firm foundation for their unique friendship.

Though in her sixties, Buddy's unnamed cousin still displays certain childlike characteristics. She loves flying kites, making paper decorations for the Christmas tree, and counting pennies—all activities that we tend to associate with children rather than grown-ups. She is as thrilled as any child at the prospect of waking up on Christmas morning and opening her presents. This childlike quality of hers automatically puts her on a different level to just about every other adult that Buddy has ever encountered. Even those activities normally associated with adults such as buying whiskey are executed with a certain childlike innocence.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Capote writes on pg 4: " The person to whom she is speaking is myself.  I am seven; she is sixty-something.  We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together- well, as long as I can remember.  Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the the whole, too much aware of them.  We are each other's best friends."

"She calls me Buddy in memory of a boy who was fomerly her best friend.  The other Buddy died in the 1880's, when she was still a child.  She is still a child." pg 4.

The two are best friends because the older cousin is simple minded and child-like. She has fun with Buddy and he with her.  They are powerless in their lives and have no one else to hold on to.

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A Christmas Memory

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