Study Guide

Hannah in A Dog's Purpose

By W. Bruce Cameron

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Hannah Banana

We came up with a cute nickname like "Hannah Banana" because there really isn't much else to this girl. She's nice and…nice. But she doesn't become much of anything other than Ethan's love interest, your typical girl who got away.

But Hannah is a girl who Ethan pushed away. The two of them met as children, and they've advanced through stages of young love year by year. They hug a lot. They go on rides in Ethan's truck once he learns how to drive. She cheers him on at football games. And even though Todd, the neighborhood's resident homicidal maniac, tries to make Hannah jealous, she's too smart to fall for it. Plus, she's as devoted to Ethan as his dog is.

After Ethan is injured in the fire set by Todd, he not only loses his ability to play football, but he also loses all of his self-confidence. He projects his own insecurity onto others. When Hannah mentions a boy on her track team, for example, Ethan mocks her, saying, "Is it that guy, what's his name, Brett? He's certainly fast on his feet" (17.38).

We only see this happen once, but after seeing how bitter Ethan becomes as an old man, we imagine he kept sniping at Hannah until she couldn't take it anymore.

Many years later, when Bailey is reincarnated as Buddy, he takes it upon himself to reunite Hannah and Ethan. By this point, Hannah has a daughter, Rachel, and a dog named Carly, but whoever Rachel's dad is, he's out of the picture. Hannah calls Ethan, and the two pick up almost right where they left off. Hannah is still as kind and forgiving as she ever was, and she inspires the same in cranky old Ethan.

Can't he at least give her a lousy nickname?

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