The story is told from Aaron’s perspective. Aaron is the most developed of all the characters. He must pit his survival skills against the other youths and against the prison itself. He is an individual with convictions. His interior monologues let the reader know how he feels about his prison experience. Initially, he is cautious in his contacts with other prisoners. No matter how he feels inside, he does not let others know his inner feelings. His introspection and analysis of his circumstances moves the story along briskly.
Barneyway, Aaron’s friend, has succumbed to prison life and become a “queen” as a result of Buzzer’s brutish force. Although Barneyway is not the same forceful person he was outside prison, Aaron still wants him as a friend. He finds it painful to see what has happened to Barneyway. Barneyway’s characterization shows the reader what happens to some youths in prison and the kind of adaptation sometimes necessary to survive.
Buzzer shows how cruel a person can become when there is nothing holding him back. Prison rewards Buzzer for his large size and lack of a conscience. The most developed characteristics of Buzzer are his cruelty and ruthlessness. He has acquired precisely those characteristics that the prison tries to eliminate. There is no pretense of rehabilitation for him. Buzzer’s almost unchecked power is seen each time he comes into the reader’s view. He is evil personified.
(The entire section is 408 words.)