Study Guide

Fourth Cousin in In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

By Bette Bao Lord

Fourth Cousin

Fourth Cousin Wong is Shirley's best bud and cousin in China. She's also like an older sister figure to Shirley, making fun of her and telling her she's "'always imagining things'" (1.7). Although she's dismissive of her little cousin pal sometimes (1.22), it seems like it's because she's a bit older instead of, say, not actually fond of Shirley. Again, there's a sisterly dynamic at work here. So while Shirley imagines that Fourth Cousin has forgotten her sometimes, we think chances are more than decent that Fourth Cousin misses her pal.

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