The Misfits

by James Howe

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Character analysis of Bobby in "The Misfits"


Bobby in "The Misfits" is a complex character who struggles with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to fit in. His journey involves overcoming self-doubt and learning to embrace his unique qualities, ultimately finding his place within the group. Bobby's character represents the universal theme of self-acceptance and the importance of individuality.

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Who is the character Bobby in "The Misfits"?

Bobby Goodspeed is one of the main characters of The Misfits. He is twelve years old, in seventh grade, and part of the Gang of Five, alongside his friends Addie, Joe, and Skeezie. (There are only four members of the gang, but the name comes from the thought that another kid who's a misfit like them will eventually want to join, too.)

Bobby is a bit overweight and often made fun of for how much he eats by way of name-calling (like "Dough-boy" and "Fluff," due to how he ate peanut butter fluff sandwiches every day in the third grade). Due to her issues with saying the Pledge of Allegiance, Addie asks to form a new political party for school elections, and the Gang of Five helps her hang up fliers; however, they need a stance that offers something different from the Democrat and Republican parties at the school.

When Bobby overhears the bully Kevin calling another student a "dweeb," he comes up with a new platform and slogan for the No-Name Party:

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit.

Bobby also works as a tie salesman at Awkworth & Ames Department Store for a man named Mr. Kellerman (dubbed Killer Man behind his back because of his mean nature). At one point in the story, Mr. Kellerman leaves for a few days, and Bobby learns that Mr. Kellerman's mother died. Since Bobby's mother died when he was young, he understands Mr. Kellerman's position. Bobby is slowly able to think of Mr. Kellerman as more human and to develop an understanding for the man.

The book is told from Bobby's perspective, giving us a bit more closeness with him, since he can be considered the main character—although the other three members of the Gang of Five could also be considered main characters of this novel.

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What are two character traits of Bobby in The Misfits?

The Misfits was written by James Howe. One of the main characters, Bobby, works as a tie salesman at a department store. He works diligently there to earn an income. He has had a rough childhood, and he is constantly called demeaning names in school. Despite enduring verbal abuse at school almost all the time, Bobby continues to work as a tie salesman when he's not in school. Later in life, Bobby becomes a United States senator. All the kids in school who used to call him demeaning names brag to their friends as adults about how they used to know him back in school.

There is much more information we learn about the character traits of Bobby in the story, but the above information tells readers a lot about his character. One character trait that Bobby has is an amazing ability to persevere. He works hard at the department store continuously while facing challenges at school. Another character trait that Bobby has is an incredibly high level of ambition. He accomplishes political feats at a young age and pursues his political career goals.

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