Study Guide

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Guilt and Blame

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Guilt and Blame

In Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Peter constantly finds himself on the chopping block for things that Fudge did. When Fudge decides to jump off the playground and loses his two front teeth, Peter's the one who gets yelled at for not watching him carefully enough. And when Fudge swallows Dribble, no one seems to blame him for eating his brother's pet turtle. Instead, they all rush to comfort and care for him, leaving Peter feeling left out and resentful.

Even though she presents it with humor, Judy Blume knows that being made to feel guilty is really hard for kids. Especially for a boy like Peter, who's always trying to do the right thing.

Questions About Guilt and Blame

  1. Is it really Peter's fault when Fudge gets into trouble?
  2. Why doesn't Mrs. Hatcher ever blame Fudge for messing with Peter's stuff?
  3. Is it really Fudge's fault that Mr. Hatcher ends up losing the Juicy-O account?

Chew on This

If Peter's mother didn't demand so much help from him in watching Fudge, he wouldn't get blamed for Fudge's misbehavior.

Fudge is too young to recognize the consequences of his actions, so he can't really get blamed for anything. (Although we bet that's the first and last time he eats a turtle.)

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