Roberta is 12 years old. She has a brother named Peter and a younger sister named Phyllis.She is fondly known as Bobbie in this novel. She is the eldest of the three. One of her characters is, she is a very persistent person.She doesn't easily throw in the towel when the odds seem to be against her. There are many incidences in the novel where we can see her persistence. For example,in chapter 3 (page 17 - paragraph 5 - lines 1-3),we can see how determined she was in getting the things necessary for her mother's recovery when her mother was ill. Her persistence paid off when the old gentleman gave the things needed for her mother's recovery. In chapter 6 (page 38 - read the whole page), Perks was not happy with people giving him presents.He was worried that people would laugh and make fun of him.Bobbie persistently reasoned with Perks about the good intentions of the village people giving him the presents untill he relented and accepted the gifts.Finally, Perks celebrated his birthday with a happy note. In chapter 7 (pg 42 - the whole page), she did not give up in finding a way to help secure her father's release from prison. She was persistent even when her mother had given up. She secretly wrote a letter to her friend the old gentleman asking for his help to clear her father's name.In the end her father was released from prison.
*Brave - Chapter 5, Chapter 7, Chapter 8
*Kindhearted - Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 8
*Responsible - Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
*Moral - we must not easily give up when things seem impossible. We must keep trying by finding means and ways to make the impossible possible like Roberta.
Peter is Roberta's brother. He is the second child in the family. Peter is a very brave and smart young chap. He wants to be an engineer when he grows up. He has a knack for railway engines. He was overjoyed when his father gave him a steam engine for his birthday.One distinct character of Peter is sharp-witted (intelligent). In Chapter 5 (p29 - p4 - lines 1-3), It was he who gave the idea of using something red in colour to wave and stop the train from meeting a certain disaster.He cut his sisters' red petticoats into six pieces and put them on to sticks.Peter together with his sisters waved at the coming train until it stopped. In Chapter 6 (pg 36 - p1 - lines 1-3), Peter was honest in giving the idea of asking the village people to give gifts for Perk's birthday.He told his mother about their true intention of giving Perks the presents.Many people gave gifts for Perks birthday party. In Chapter 2 (pg 12 - p 3 - lines 1-3), we can see the daring side of Peter. He was daring enough to steal coal from the railway station at night but he did itignorantly. Peter innocently thought it was alright to take some coal from the station. In Chapter 8 (p46 - p1 - lines 1-4 / pg 47 - p2 - lines 1-4), we can see howbrave Peter was in searching for the boy in the red shirt in the dark tunnel.He was shaking in fear but still he continued the search for the boy with his sisters.
Phyllis is the youngest child in the family. She is the cutest of the three.She is quite a bubbly character. She is very naive and insecure.She is also very sensitive but easily forgiving.In Chapter 5 (p29,30 & 31), we can see the brave side of Phyllis. She together with her elder sister and brother managed to stop the train from meeting with a terrible accident. In Chapter 1 (p7 - p1 - last line), Phyllis felt very insecure when they moved in to their new house at the countyside. While in Chapter 6 (pg 38 - p1&2),Phyllis became very sensitive when Perks refused to accept the gifts the children had brought to him. She was so hurt by Perks's words that she started to cry.In Chapter 4,5,6 and 8 we can see how loving, caring and helpful Phyllis is.
Mother is a homely type.We can read this in Chapter 1 (page 1 - paragraph 2 - lines 1-3). She spends most of her time at home, playing with the children or reading stories to them.Usually she read the stories she wrote to them.She is a very protective woman. She protected her children from worrying or feeling sad about their father. She did this by not telling them what actually had happened to their father. She also told them that they need to play being poor for a while in order not to cause more anxiety on them. In chapter 2 (p12 - pg 1 - lines 2-3), we can see how resourceful she is. Mother wrote stories and sold them to put some food on the table. In chapter 4 (p21 - pg 3 - lines 1-3), we can see that Mother is a very proud person. Although they were poor, she strongly discourages her children from telling people that they are poor and asking strangers to help them. She is also a very caring and loving Mother.In Chapter 1 (p1 - p2 - lines 1-3), Mother was always ready to play with her chlidren. She also read stories to them. Whereas in Chapter 9 ( p53 - p1 - lines 2-4), she taught her children their lessons as they have stopped going to school for some time now.In Chapter 8 (p50 - p1 - lines 8-9) , she took in the injured boy into her house and nursed him to health.
The children's father worked in a government ofiice. He was a civil servant. He was an honest and hardworking man. He was wrongly accused of being a Russian spy and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.In Chapter 1 (pg 1 - p 3 - lines 2-4),we can see how tolerant and wonderful he is. He never gets angry at the children nor at his wife. The children love their father very much for he is always happy and ready to play games with them.In Chapter 1 (pg 3 - p1 - lines 1-3), when Peter showed him his broken steam engine, father looked at it carefullyand smilingly told Peter that there is hope (optimistic) that his steam engine could be repaired.He is also a grateful man. In Chapter 9 (pg 57 - "Yes',said Father.'It's him I must thank.'). Father was grateful for his release and wanted to thank the old gentleman for helping him to clear his name and secure his release from prison.
A Railway Porter
Friendly, Proud, Hardworking, Reasonable, Responsible
Friendly, Helpful, Kind, Resourceful