by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Unlike Stargirl, I was aware of the constant anger of our schoolmates, seething like snakes under a porch. In fact, I was not only aware of it, but at time I also understood their point of view […] I saw. I heard. I understood. I suffered. But whose sake was I suffering for? I kept thinking of Señor Saguaro's question: Whose affection do you value more, hers or the others'?
I became angry. I resented having to choose. I refused to choose. I imagined my life without her and without them, and I didn't like it either way (23.8-10).
Even though we're not the biggest fans of how Leo treats Stargirl, we can toss some sympathy his way. It is really tough being a social pariah (that's pariah, not piranha). This is a terrible situation to be placed in. It is not at all comfortable, especially since he connects a lot of his identity to belonging to this group. On the other hand, he can't imagine not having Stargirl. This dude's a mess. He better get his act together and choose, yes?
"I'm invisible," I said to Kevin at lunch. "Nobody hears me. Nobody sees me. I'm the friggin' invisible man."
"What did I do?" My voice was louder than I intended.
He chewed. He stared. At last he said, "You know what you did."
I had linked myself to an unpopular person.
That was my crime (24.24-32).
Crime is a strong word, but it fits when you consider how terribly the school is treating Leo and Stargirl. No wonder Leo seems to be breaking under the stress. He feels like the invisible man, and in many ways, he is. Or at least he might as well be.
"Stargirl, you just can't do things the way you do. If you weren't stuck in a homeschool all your life, you'd understand. You can't just wake up in the morning and say you don't care what the rest of the world think."
Her eyes were wide, her voice peepy like a little girl's.
"Not unless you want to be a hermit" (25.40-42).
Whose side are you taking in this argument? Is Leo right? Does being too strange, too outside the norm, mean you'll have to live like a hermit? Does Stargirl have a point in implying that conforming is, well, pointless? It's a tough call.