Study Guide

George in The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate

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George is the mall custodian, a good guy who works hard. More importantly, though, as Julia's father, he makes it possible for Ivan and Julia to hang out together and inspire each other.

We see a wider range of George's true colors when he talks to Mack about the unfortunate circumstances that lead to Stella's death. Ivan overhears a bit of that conversation—"Vet. Should Have. Wrong"(crying.592)—and while it's hard to know if Mack feels any remorse for his part in Stella's demise, Ivan notices that George's cheeks are wet from crying, which suggests that George is a human who really cares.

George's caring really comes in handy when Julia convinces him to post Ivan's message to free Ruby. George loses his job at the mall for this, but in doing so shows his loyalty not only to Ivan and animal rights, but to doing the right thing more generally. The story rewards George for sticking his neck out with a new job the zoo, thereby enabling him and Julia (and Bob, who they take in) to visit Ivan and Ruby whenever they want.

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