A Long Way from Chicago

by Richard Peck

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Student Question

What three adjectives best describe Ms. Eubanks?

Expert Answers

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The first adjective that springs to mind in relation to Vandalia Eubanks is thin. There's a permanently half-starved look about her, which is not surprising, given the truly appalling way that she's treated by her wicked mother. It's bad enough trying to make ends meet at a menial job during the Depression. But having an abusive parent makes it even worse.

Another adjective that applies to Vandalia, at least initially, is passive. This makes it all too easy for her to be dominated and controlled by Mrs. Eubanks, who even demands that Vandalia hand over all her hard-earned wages from her job at the cafe.

However, in due course, Vandalia will shows that she's brave by breaking free from her mother's tyranny and eloping with Junior. In taking off with him, Vandalia is showing immense courage, as well as an overwhelming desire to change her life for the better.

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