Study Guide

Amos Leemaster in Belle Prater's Boy

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Amos Leemaster

By the time Belle Prater's Boy begins, Gypsy's father, Amos, has been dead for some time. Throughout the book, it is clear that Amos's death has disturbed the family—and that for some reason they never talk about it.

The truth comes out when Gypsy's classmate announces that Amos was scarred in a fire and eventually shot himself in the face because he was so depressed about his disfigurement. It then becomes clear that Gypsy's the one who found his body (at the ripe old age of five—poor kid), which is why she keeps having these awful nightmares about finding an animal dead in a pool of blood.

Gypsy feels a lot of anger toward her father because she feels like he abandoned her even though he knew that it would damage her for life. But when she meets Blind Benny and learns about how kind Amos was to him, she realizes that her father wasn't being selfish. He killed himself because he was in a lot of pain, not because he didn't love her. He would have stayed with Love and Gypsy if he could have, but he was simply hurting too much. And she can't really blame him for that.

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