Study Guide

Andy's Parents in Tears of a Tiger

By Sharon M. Draper

Andy's Parents

Like most teenagers, Andy feels like his parents don't really get him. Sound familiar? He complains that his "mother lives in 'la- la land'" (5.51)—she always wants her hair and make-up to be just perfect. So much so, in fact, that she can't even stand going to a basketball game because there's too much sweat there. Yeah, it's pretty clear that she's more interested in appearances than anything else.

Perhaps this is why she ships Andy off to the psychologist's office at the first sign of a problem. She can't stand to talk to her son about his problems herself, because she'd rather not admit they exist. But she loves him, so she still tries to get him some help. Andy's dad is no better, and he might even be worse. His main way of relating to his son is through lectures, and he's not exactly one to take no for an answer.

When he tells his son that he's got to improve his grades and impress white people, he says, "That's the only way to make it in this world—to assimilate into the society in which we live. That's why you must pull up your grades and improve your attitude. That is the key to success" (37.78). He doesn't care what Andy's going through or how he feels about the accident—he just wants his son get over it and get to work. It's no wonder Andy doesn't feel like his dad's on his team.