Study Guide

Porter Dotson in Belle Prater's Boy

By Ruth White

Porter Dotson

Gypsy's stepfather, Porter Dotson, is a newspaperman and a good guy. He is patient and kind, even though Gypsy constantly lashes out at him, trying to hurt him for taking her father's place.

When Gypsy cuts off all her hair, Porter tells her that he'll talk to her mother (so Gypsy doesn't get into trouble) and assures her that he sees her through all that hair. Porter knows that she's a good person who is just hurting. And then he goes one step further and shows Gypsy just how clearly he sees her by organizing a piano recital for her to show her talents off. To most, Gypsy might be just a pretty face, but to Porter, she's a talented and hurt girl who needs people to really take the time to see her. And that's exactly what Porter does.

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