Compare and Contrast Characters

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Throughout the story, Dee is portrayed as a typical, yet unique young woman. She is strong-standing, solid and firm none the less. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to make anyone aware of it. "She would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature"; this cannot be described as uncommon for a person of her age, the boldness and outspokenness. Maggie is a young girl who is not only physically but also mentally scarred. The way the burning house, her stuck-up sister, and society affects Maggie makes her different from everyone else. Maggie was so traumatized from her house burning down that she became a timid and underappreciated little girl. Maggie is so self conscious that her mom says she walks like a dog run over by a car: “chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground.” This shows that Maggie’s lack of self-confidence makes her scared to make eye contact. She thinks that if she cannot see the people around her, then they cannot see her. In addition, Maggie’s noticeable scars have an effect on the way she carries herself. According to Mama, when she was pulling Maggie out of the fire, her arms were sticking to her, “her hair was smoking, and her dress was falling off her in little black papery flakes. She is a woman that tells things how they are, nothing but the plain truth. She can be humorous at times and tough at others. She is self-described as “a large, big boned, woman with rough, man-working hands. ” Growing up poor, Mama had to work hard to raise her family.

Maggie and Dee have completely different physical appearances than each other. Maggie has a thin body figure, and her arms and legs are scarred from the house fire. Maggie is jealous of Dee’s beauty, and she seems to be ashamed of the way she looks. Mama says, “Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn...
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