Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 18

By Ruth White

Chapter 18

  • Gypsy immediately leaves the classroom on shaky legs and walks home—though she doesn't remember this later. And apparently after she leaves, Woodrow beats the living daylight out of Buzz.
  • Gypsy is totally horrified that her worst memory—and nightmare—is now out in the open. No one usually talks about it around her.
  • She goes back to the memory of when she was five years old and her Granny told her to go get her father for dinner. He'd hardly gone anywhere since the fire, and she went to the bedroom but it was locked.
  • That's when she went outside and peered in through the window… and that's when she saw it. He was face up in a puddle of blood, his face completely destroyed.
  • After thinking about the memory, Gypsy goes into her room and looks in the mirror, suddenly furious at her father. She thinks about how he made her mother promise never to cut her hair and picks up a pair of scissors.
  • Gypsy starts whacking away at her pretty hair while screaming at her father that she hates him, and that he had no right to do that. Then she yells that she's no longer his Beauty—all of her hair is gone.
  • Then she lies in bed miserable until Porter comes to find her. She tells him to go away, but he just asks her if she feels better now that she's cut off all her hair. She says that she feels mean because her heart is hard and she doesn't care about Amos Leemaster anymore at all.
  • Gypsy says that she doesn't want to be her mother's good girl or her daddy's Beauty; she wants to be ugly and evil.
  • Porter tells her that she's not ugly and evil; she's just wounded. This sets something off in Gypsy and she feels like she's going to cry, so instead she screams at Porter to go away.
  • Porter tells her that he'll go but that he'll still be around if she needs him. Then he says that he'll talk to her mother about the hair so it's not a shock.
  • Gypsy just lies down in her bed and cries it all out, sobbing about everything that's happened to her in life before falling asleep.

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