Belle Prater's Boy

by Ruth C. White

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How is Belle's relationship with Love portrayed in chapter 2 of Belle Prater's Boy?

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In chapter 2 of Belle Prater's Boy, Granny describes the relationship between sisters Belle and Love by telling Gypsy about Belle's failed attempts to be as pretty as her sister, the rivalry over boyfriends, and especially the relationship between Belle and Amos that was disrupted by Love. Obviously, the relationship between the sisters was affected by Belle's jealousy.

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In the second chapter of Ruth White's novel Belle Prater's Boy, Granny tells Gypsy all about the rivalry between Granny's two daughters (Gypsy's mother, Love, and her sister, Belle). Gypsy has long wondered why she has never seen much of her Aunt Belle, and she thinks that long ago there must have been “some kind of rift” between the two sisters, even though her mother denies it and claims that she and Belle were close and loved each other.

Granny, however, clarifies the situation. Aunt Belle, its seems, was “plain,” and she was also obsessed with her looks, always wanting to be beautiful like her sister but never getting there as hard as she worked at it. Belle could never attract or hold boyfriends even though Love had many, and this made matters worse. The boys always looked at Love rather than Belle. This changed, though, when Love went off to college. Belle finally had some attention from the boys, especially Amos Leemaster. The two starting dating, and everyone thought Amos and Belle would marry. Belle was happy to the point of sparkling.

Then, however, Love came home from college, and everything changed. Amos took one look at Love, fell in love, and forgot all about Belle. Love and Amos married and had Gypsy. Granny doesn't tell Gypsy any more of Belle's story just then, but she has said enough to allow Gypsy to see how jealous Belle must have been of her sister and how hurt she was when Love came home and took Amos away from her.

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