Betsy Anna Character Summary

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“In the early summer of 1960, there began a rumor among the children of Betsy Ann’s age that the railroad people were planning to take all the land around Myrtle Street” (Jones 15). The early 60s was a very unsettled period when the African-American Civil Rights Movement was at its peak. Betsy Ann lived in a small, tight-knit neighborhood in Washington, D.C. where everyone knew one another and was aware of everything that was happening around them. “To the west, … was the high school Gonzaga, where white boys were taught by white priests. When the colored people and their homes were gone, the wall and the tracks remained, and so did the highschool, with the same boys and the same priests” (11-12). Discrimination and rasicm was prevalent…show more content…
Flat and static, these persons’ character traits are not that fully developed and their personalities did not change throughout the story. Although this is the case, these people are essential in the characterization and formation of the plot. For example, FOIL characters Darlene and Ralph both function to highlight certain traits of Betsy Ann’s personality. Darlene, unlike Betsy Ann, is a very unruly and liberal character. She is not as controlled or intently looked after by her guardian. When Darlene started crying after being caught stealing candy, the assistant manager turned to her and said, “That didn’t work the last time I told you to stay outa here, and it ain’t gonna work now” (19). This implies that this was not the first time that Darlene attempted to steal candy bars from People’s Drug. The other FOIL character, Ralph, contrasts Betsy Ann by having a mother who looks after him. Ralph’s mother, Thelma, is the older sister of Clara. Thelma’s appearance was described to be just like that of Betsy Ann’s mother. “The girl had never had an overwhelming curiosity about her mother but it fascinated her to see the face of the lady in all the pictures on a woman who moved and laughed and did all mother of things” (11). Her Aunt Thelma served as the closest mother figure she could possibly have. Her interest to discover the role mothers play in society explain her frequent visits to Ralph’s
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