Out of the Dust

by Karen Hesse

Start Free Trial

In Out of the Dust, how does Billie Jo's father differ from the man she met in the train's boxcar?

Expert Answers

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

By the time that Billie Jo meets the man on the boxcar, she and her father are at such incredible odds that it seems as though they may never reconcile. It is clear to Billie Jo that against his better judgement, her father clearly blames her for the death of her mother. For this reason, she must move on from him.

The man in the boxcar is very forthcoming with his failures, which contrasts hugely with Billie Jo's own stoic father. However, the biggest difference is that when the man in the boxcar fell on hard times, his wife's family was able to take them in while the man went out to look for work. It is when Billie Jo sees the photo of the man's family that she realizes she has left her father all alone. What she fears the most, she has inflicted upon her only surviving relative. It is at this point that she decides to return and reconcile with her father.

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