Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

by Fannie Flagg

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What is Buddy's role and influence in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe?

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In Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Buddy's role is significant despite his early death. He was greatly admired for his charm and personality, and shared a close bond with Idgie, whom he influenced greatly. His death, caused by a train, not only left a lasting impact on Idgie but possibly led to Buddy Jr.'s similar train accident.

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In Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Buddy died. He was flirting with an attractive woman named Marie Miller. As her train got ready to depart, Buddy remained on the track. He “tipped his hat” and “flashed his lady’s smile.” After these playful gestures, the train whistle blew. Ninny Threadgoode speculates that Buddy “never even heard the train whistle that was coming up behind him.” Thus, Buddy was killed by a train.

Prior to his death, Buddy’s role in the story revolves around his relationship with Idgie and the town of Whistle Stop. Buddy and Idgie were quite close. Buddy gave her the nickname Idgie. When she was little, he would carry her throughout Whistle Stop as if she was his “doll.” Idgie, in turn, seemed to view Buddy as a role model. She preferred his old clothes to her new dress and helped deliver his sundry "love notes."

As with Idgie, the town was generally smitten with Buddy. He was funny, he made an amazing strawberry ice cream soda, he had a great personality, and he possessed oodles of charm. Buddy continued to influence people because his charm lived on in Idgie, and his unfortunate experience with the train might be why Buddy Jr. lost one of his arms due to a train.

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