The Rag And Bone Shop Character Analysis

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In The Rag and Bone Shop, by Robert Cormier Mr. Trent psychologically manipulates a twelve year old boy, Jason Dorrant, suspect for his seven year old friend Alicia Bartlett’s death, into admitting to killing her. Mr. Trent tried to get into Jason’s head by asking random questions that had nothing to do with what Jason did the day of the murder. “He was also uncomfortable with these personal questions. What did they have to do with what he had seen or not seen that day” (83)? Jason continued to answer all the questions that Mr. Trent had for him, no matter how off topic they were, he wanted to be as much help as he could. What Jason did not realize was that Mr. Trent was building a case against him, that Jason could if fact be the murderer. Mr. Trent manipulated Jason into making himself seem like he was the one who hurt his friend.…show more content…
Hairston was evil and manipulative and wanted Henry to ruin Mr. Levine’s sculpture without a valid reason as to why he wanted the sculpture ruined. He never gave Henry an easy way out of the situation, there was always a punishment for Henry. Mr. Hairston gave punishments but also rewards. He was going to give Henry a stone monument for Henry’s brother’s grave since Henry’s family could not afford it, but only if Henry ruined the sculpture first. In the novel, Tunes For Bears to Dance To, Mr. Hairston used his strong power of manipulation to persuade Henry into ruining the village sculpture:

‘Don’t make a decision now Henry. Think about it awhile. Think about it tonight. And think about this: If I can’t trust you to do this little thing for me, how can I trust you anymore here in the store?’ Full of regret. ‘Don’t you see? I will have to let you go. No more paychecks to help at home. No monument for your brother.’ Tenderly, softly: ‘Know what else, Henry? I will have to spread the word about you to other merchants. That you are not to be trusted. No one will ever want to hire you again. Or even let you enter their store.’
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