Why do you think Charlie likes plants in Miracle's Boys?

In Jacqueline Woodson's novel Miracle's Boys, readers can infer that Charlie keeps and tends plants to add beauty, color, and cheerfulness to his otherwise dreary world and to have something in which to put his time and effort and gain satisfactory results.

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In Jacqueline Woodson's novel Miracle's Boys , Lafayette tells us that his older brother Charlie puts all kinds of plants in the windows of the apartment. He prunes them, waters them, feeds them, and even talks to them, telling a fern, for instance, “that it better toughen up” if...

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In Jacqueline Woodson's novel Miracle's Boys, Lafayette tells us that his older brother Charlie puts all kinds of plants in the windows of the apartment. He prunes them, waters them, feeds them, and even talks to them, telling a fern, for instance, “that it better toughen up” if it wants “to make it in the world.”

We might wonder why tough Charlie, who has been in trouble so much, would want to care for plants. To find that out, let's brainstorm some reasons why people keep and tend plants. Some enjoy their beauty. They liven up the world, adding colors and textures to their surroundings. Charlie might feel like that. Life is pretty bleak for him and for his brothers, and perhaps plants are his way of adding some cheerfulness and beauty to his world.

Other people keep plants because they need something to care for, something to spend their time on, something to watch over and to see grow and flourish through their efforts. Plants require commitment if they are going to thrive, and some planet owners get great satisfaction out of seeing the work of their hands become a blooming, beautiful thing. Charlie might feel like this, too. He has had very little in his life that he can pour himself into and that he can get good results out of through his work and time. Plants, however, seem to have become his hobby. They are living, growing things that he can take care of, and commit to, and even talk to. He can watch those plants flourish under his attention, and that would give Charlie great satisfaction in a world where little else goes right for him.

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