Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Appearances

By Ruth White

Appearances

People care a lot about appearances in Belle Prater's Boy—and this rarely leads to good things. From the beginning, Gypsy is constantly complimented on her beauty and long, golden hair, but she's tired of being seen as just a pretty girl. And besides, she knows that her father killed himself because he was disfigured in a fire and could no longer be the most handsome man in town.

And then there's poor Aunt Belle, who never felt good about herself because she was plain while her sister was the most beautiful girl in town. It didn't matter that Belle was talented and smart and creative—people just saw her as Love's ugly sister. How unfair is that?

Questions About Appearances

  1. Why was Aunt Belle's self esteem so low growing up? How does this compare to Gypsy's self-esteem?
  2. Why is Woodrow so self-conscious about his eyes? How does he respond to feeling this way about his appearance?
  3. Why doesn't Gypsy like to be called by the nickname "Beauty"?
  4. Why does Woodrow say Blind Benny is the only person who can see with clarity? Do you agree? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Gypsy and Belle both struggle with being reduced to their looks.

The strongest tie that binds Woodrow and Gypsy together in friendship is their mutual understanding of how much it stinks to be judged based on appearances.

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