illustrated close-up of Kenny Watson with fire in the background behind him

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

Start Free Trial

In The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, who are the family members?

Expert Answers

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

We receive an introduction to the Watson family in the first chapter, which presents us with the mother and father, the elder son, Byron, Kenny, the narrator, and his little sister, Joetta. Byron is described as "officially a teenage juvenile delinquent" who is a bully at school but equally shows himself to be incredibly self-absorbed, symbolised most amusingly when he kisses his reflection in the mirror of the car. Momma is from Alabama, and resents the fact that her husband moved them up to the cold north, and the father is a funny man as indicated by his making fun of his wife's former boyfriend and her southern accent, who clearly loves his wife and children greatly. Joetta, as the baby of the family, is doted on by the rest of them, and clearly is a sensitive, loving daughter and sister. Finally Kenny is the narrator of the story who we see growing up through the text. At the beginning of the story we see him trying to understand his older brother, who is capable of showing great kindness to him, but at the same time can also be incredibly cruel. Kenny is also bullied at school and is a lonely, isolated figure without friends.

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