Study Guide

Will Hawkins and Claire in Homecoming

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Will Hawkins and Claire

Will and Claire are the last two people to help the Tillermans on their way home, but they also seem to care the most. The kids meet them at Will's circus, and both Claire and Will are willing to go out on a limb to help the Tillerman kids when they're in danger. Look at them go:

"I said, I'll take them now." Mr. Rudyard's voice was steely and he didn't bother to disguise the threat.

"I don't think so," Will said, still slowly. "Not until I see the papers."

Mr. Rudyard loosened his hand on the dog's collar.

"I wouldn't," Will said, still slowly. "Claire here—she's got one nasty temper—and a good hand with a whip. That so, Claire?" Claire smiled. "And I've been chased by dogs myself often enough not to be overly scared of them. Animal dogs or human dogs." (2.6.163-166)

Not only are Claire and Will fine with putting themselves in danger to save the Tillermans, they even drive them to Crisfield. They also buy them bikes when they come by to check on them later:

"I can't just dump you kids off. Not and forget about you. I can't do that. But I can let you do it your own way if I know you'll call me if you need to— if it's not working out."

"Why?" Dicey asked. "I mean, why should you bother? You have your own life."

"You're a little bit of my life now. You can't get away, and I can't get rid of you. That's a fact." (2.7.33-35)

Even Abigail remarks that Will's circus might be a nice place for the kids to live. She's probably right, too, since everyone there is super nice to the Tillermans and they really enjoy their time there. The only trouble is that a circus life might not be the best for them. These kids need a permanent place to say, and a life on the road just isn't going to work at this point.

Will and Claire are sort of the cream of the crop of everyone the Tillermans meet during their journey. They don't have any obligation toward these kids, and it would have been easy for them to turn their backs and pretend that the Tillermans were someone else's problem, but that's not how they roll. Because of this, they sort of renew our faith in humanity. So thanks, Will and Claire.

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