Why is The Motorcycle Boy such a loner in Rumble Fish?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The older brother of Rusty-James, Motorcycle Boy is

"...born in the wrong era, on the wrong side of the river, with the ability to do anything and finding nothing he wants to do."

He seems older than he actually is and is quite intelligent; his perfect scholastic test scores in school are always questioned, and authorities assume that Motorcycle Boy must be cheating. His terrible home life contributes to his desire to be on his own: His mother eventually abandons the family, and his father often disappears on drunken benders. He has no real home or even a room of his own; he shares a cot and mattress with his father and brother, and they sleep on whichever is available. Motorcycle Boy's real name is never revealed, giving him a more mysterious and aloof persona. He grows tired of his violent gang life, and leaves town in order to cleanse himself. His love of motorcycles leads him to steal them and spend his life on the road whenever possible. The injuries he has received have left him color-blind and partially deaf, further restricting his social interaction in conversation and to visually see the real world in its proper perspective. Motorcycle Boy believes he cannot absolutely be free unless he is on his own, free from the hero-worship of Rusty-James and the bad memories of his earlier years in his home town.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team