(Short Stories for Students)

The baker saves the best ‘‘chicken bread’’ to sell to the child. He knows that the child’s family doesn’t own chickens and that the bread is really being used to feed the family. However, the baker never openly acknowledges this fact so as to allow the child to maintain some sense of dignity in front of the other customers.

As described in the narrator’s childhood memories, Collette was a prostitute who ran her business, Collette’s Rooms, over The Rex Drug Store. There is no direct interaction between the narrator and Colette, so the reader is given little insight into her character. Her character, however, shows that the narrator was not naïve as a child. He knew who she was and what her business was, and he spoke of her in a straightforward manner rather than in the awkward manner that might be expected of a tenyear- old boy.

Fat Man
As a child, the narrator was repulsed by a fat man who slept in the Crystal Bar saloon every day in the summer. The fat man slept there all day; he did not play card games such as poker with the other men. Although little is said about the fat man’s character, his inactivity and heaviness disgusted the narrator, who imagined that this man had no dreams and assumed that he was not alive in the same way that the he himself was. Because the narrator was a paperboy who shouted headlines to sell newspapers, he spent every day submerged in the...

(The entire section is 569 words.)