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Quotes

Quote #1

"If you don't want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?" [John Wesley] and the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor.

"She wouldn't stay at home to be queen for a day," June Star said without raising her yellow head. (3-4)

The grandmother doesn't want to go to Florida, and the children don't particularly want the grandmother to come on the trip. Right from the start, we know the kids are disrespectful. Does this make you sympathize with the grandmother? On the other hand, June Star seems to get something right: she recognizes the grandmother's sense of self-importance and desire to get what she wants. Then again, might the grandmother want to go with them in part because she genuinely wants to be with her family and not on her own. She does, after all, go to Florida with them eagerly, even though that means she won't get to see her relatives in Tennessee.

Quote #2

The grandmother offered to hold the baby and the children's mother passed him over the front seat to her. She set him on her knee and bounced him and told him about the things they were passing. She rolled her eyes and screwed up her mouth and stuck her leathery thin face into his smooth bland one. (22)

This grandmother certainly loves her grandbaby. It's a bit of a laughable moment – from the description we can imagine the grandmother looks really silly here – but it's also one of the rare human moments for this family.

Quote #3

The grandmother ate a peanut butter sandwich and an olive and would not let the children throw the box and the paper napkins out the window. (25)

The grandmother takes on the role of policeman. She also scolds her son about his driving slightly earlier. Even though Bailey claims to be the head of the family, she seems to be the actual of the family at times.

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