Study Guide

Dr. Meescham in Flora and Ulysses

By Kate DiCamillo

Dr. Meescham

Dr. Meescham is Flora's dad's quirky but straightforward neighbor, who tells Flora things like, "'You will speak without euphemisms'" (37.40). Yep, she's a pretty up front lady. Her tell-it-like-it-is attitude helps Flora understand her dad better, and it also makes her think about what's happened between her parents. Dr. Meescham helps Flora see that she might only know one side of the story.

Dr. M isn't all business, all the time, though, and she's also great at telling her own wacky tales. She says, "'When I was a girl in Blundermeecen, people were often getting concussions—gifts from the trolls, you understand'" (37.21). Uh, no, we don't understand. And neither does Flora.

The doc shows Flora that just because she doesn't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. Flora claims to be a big old cynic, but when she meets Dr. Meescham, she has to think twice about this because the doctor believes in everything—whether it seems plausible or not. We're not sure if her tales are reality or fantasy, but it doesn't end up mattering, since either way they help Flora break out of her cynical ways and see there is more to the world than she knows about. And that is only a good thing.