Byron Watson

Kenny speak us right off the bat the Byron is a juvenile delinquent, and that seems like a pretty exact assessment for most of the novel. This boy is definitely trouble, and also there are some moments where we really type of dislike him. But similar to Kenny, Byron has actually some surprises in keep for us.

Byron the Delinquent

Kenny loves the town hall Byron gain into trouble, and let"s face it, so carry out we. Byron never stops working to make things interesting, like when he sets tiny parachutes ~ above fire in the restroom or comes house with a hairdo so negative that Dad shaves his head.

But as funny together these moments are, there space others that simply make united state cringe. Look at at the time he beats increase Larry Dunn in front of the entirety school (Chapter 4). Sure, Larry stole Kenny"s gloves, but by the moment Byron is finished, Larry is thoroughly humiliated and hurt quite badly. In this moments, Byron"s delinquency goes past the typical "boys will certainly be boys" stuff and we see he yes, really does have actually a dark side. admits we"re a tiny baffled through this. Byron"s household is kind and loving and also fun, so where"d he learn to it is in so mean? Why go he take it pleasure in hurting various other kids?

We don"t recognize for sure, but one thing we do know is that hate and also cruelty become important themes in the publication as the Watsons" story becomes wrapped up in the occasions of the Civil civil liberties Movement. See, in ~ this point in time, there"s a lot of hate flying around out there, and also nobody has very great reasons because that it. It"s difficult to know why some human being got so upset over whites and also blacks talk the very same buses or going to the same schools. And also some people certainly did it seems ~ to take pleasure in hurting those who were fighting for equal rights.

We don"t have any answers because that these actions either, however it seems to united state that it"s no accident we gain a character choose Byron come love/hate. Perhaps he"s supposed to show us that human being aren"t all negative or all good. Maybe he"s supposed to remind united state that we all have actually the capacity to it is in cruel, or the volume to stand up for what"s right.

Byron"s perceptible Side

Yup, he"s acquired a sensitive site, and it surface at some pretty how amazing moments. Take it the bird incident for example. Byron litter stolen cookie at a mourning dove perched ~ above a telephone wire. Usual delinquent Byron. Climate he in reality hits the bird and also kills it (with a cookie), and also suddenly he"s for this reason upset that he"s throwing up and crying uncontrollably.

Wait, what? walk Joey beam herself into his human body or something? This is Byron. That barely cares around other human beings, yet here he is crying over a bird? It makes no sense. Kenny is confused. We"re confused. Heck, we"re betting even Byron is confused. However hang on, because this is a really important moment because that him. Byron"s reaction below reveals the he"s not simply a bully; he"s no all bad. He"s genuinely sorry to have killed a helpless creature, and to show it, he offers the bird a tiny funeral. But if that"s true, then why is he so median to everyone else? whatever is walking on v Byron is clearly too complicated to just write him off together a bully.

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Let"s keep digging.

Later in the story, Kenny practically drowns while swimming in the lake at Grandma"s, however Byron saves his life. No kidding. If Byron hadn"t pulled Kenny out of the water, Kenny most likely would have died. That"s a huge deal, don"t friend think? when Kenny coughs every the water out of his lungs and also it"s clear he"ll it is in okay, Byron just loses it. We median crying and also shaking and also kissing Kenny everywhere his head. Sound like Byron to you?

Even despite Kenny virtually dies, he"s still surprised that Byron is so upset around this and also frankly, we room too. This absolutely doesn"t right Byron"s tough guy routine. Yet think about it: both of this super sensitive moments are around death. Byron could play that cool many of the time, but is beginning to acquire the feeling that he is really afraid of losing the people who matter to him. And also we"re not saying the bird mattered exactly, however it was a minute where Byron had to establish that fatality can come in one instant, regularly as a finish shock.

Maybe his challenging act is all about protecting himself from being vulnerable and also getting hurt. Perhaps he"s median to everyone because he doesn"t know exactly how to it is in nice without emotion weak. Climate again, maybe he"s just a teenager through so plenty of hormones paris around, the doesn"t recognize what to feel.

Byron 2.0: new and Improved

Byron certainly changes more than anyone in Watsons.

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by the finish of the story, that barely resembles his previous delinquent self, and is nice glad about that. Byron"s final transformation comes around when he thinks Joey died in the church. Sheesh, practically losing his brother and also then his sister in the exact same week? If that doesn"t readjust a person, who knows what would. Once Byron hears about the bomb, the goes running out the door without reasoning twice; and later, Kenny watch him in ~ the church crying and also calling because that Joey.

When the whole family ends up safe and also sound earlier in Flint, and also Byron is a brand-new man. He to know Kenny is having actually a really tough time through what taken place at the church, and he"s nice around it. Prefer really nice. He check on Kenny in his hiding place behind the couch. The takes Kenny to play basketball and also makes every his tough-guy friends be nice come him. He also starts resting on the couch so Kenny won"t need to be alone.

Okay, crying after Kenny virtually dies is one thing, yet extended periods of kindness? This really is a whole new Byron, and also here"s what thinks: that bomb to be Byron"s 3rd wakeup call. It to be the third time that death came up and also surprised him and also he almost lost something really important. It appears that this is the final push Byron needs to acquire him to think about how the treats people, and instead the protecting himself, that starts protecting the human being he loves.

It"s a great thing too since Kenny really demands his big brother. Byron is the one who lastly gets Kenny come come out of hiding. Byron it s okay Kenny to talk around the bombing and Byron convinces Kenny the he has nothing to it is in ashamed of. Byron help Kenny watch that also though life isn"t fair and bad points happen, it"s crucial to keep living. And because that Byron, Kenny beginning to think that he"ll it is in okay.