Student Question

What decision does Squeaky make for Raymond at the end of "Raymond's Run" and why?

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At the end of Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Raymond’s Run” Squeaky has a moment of clarity in her life. After seeing how her brother, Raymond, keeps up with her while she runs May Day race, she comprehends that he has the potential to be a great runner “in the family tradition” and she has the ability to be his coach. She realizes she lived up to her potential as a runner and her reputation as the toughest girl in the neighborhood. Raymond becomes a person with potential, and Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker wants more for him. She has her ribbons and trophies, he does not.

And I’m smiling to beat the band cause if I’ve lost this race, or if me and Gretchen tied, or even if I’ve won, I can always retire as a runner and begin a whole new career as a coach with Raymond as my champion.

Not only does she decide that she can coach Raymond, she realizes with more work she can be a better student, and with more compassion she can be a friend to the other girls. At her young age, Squeaky has an epiphany; she has more potential than merely being a good runner. Her most important decision is her change of attitude toward Raymond. He is no longer the disabled brother she cares for; he is a person with a future.

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