Plainsong Character Analysis

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Weston Clinite Ms. Zipperian English 156 TR 12:30 December 3, 2009 The Dark Side Kent Haruf’s novel Plainsong is an interesting story of the realistic lives of many different people. This novel takes place in the little town of Holt, Colorado, and it’s basically about the lives and problems that a select few characters have to face. Some of these realistic situations include a high school girl named Victoria getting pregnant, two boys’ parents splitting up, and a teacher named Tom Guthrie, who has to deal with an aggressive student that doesn’t do any school work. Now, how they handle these problems and situations helps determine what kind of person they are. There are some characters that handle their problems well and are…show more content…
First of all, he is lazy and doesn’t do any school work. This is shown in the scene when Tom is talking to the principal about why Russell Beckman is failing his history class, and Tom explains, “He hasn’t done the work he’s supposed to” (19). This shows that Russell doesn’t do the assigned work and does whatever he wants to do. Also, Russell has been known to be very violent throughout the novel. Haruf Illustrates a violent scene when Russell said something offensive to Victoria, and Tom pulls him out of class to talk to him about it. Things between them get tense as they yell at each other, and Haruf writes, “Guthrie grabbed him once more but he jerked away and then the boy swung and hit Guthrie at the side of the face, and then he whirled and ran away…” (84). Clearly, Russell gets very aggressive and brutal when he becomes angry with someone, which affects a lot of people at school. Then later, Russell tries to show his hatred toward Tom even more by kidnapping his kids and driving them five miles out of town where he and his friend took the boys’ pants off and made them walk to town from there. Taking it as far as hurting little kids just shows how cruel and messed up Russell Beckman is. Also, Russell Beckman is very uncaring towards people, even to his girlfriend Sharlene. Most couples are usually caring and considerate of each other, but Russell treats his…show more content…
They both have problems in their lives that they have to deal with; however, they don’t do a good job at handling these situations, which causes them to be very discourteous and bad-mannered. Dwayne’s situation is that he has to deal with a pregnant girlfriend, but instead of helping her out and caring for her, he tries to force her to do everything he wants to do. Then, Russell Beckman’s problem is that he has a teacher that is mad at him for slacking off and being disruptive in class, but instead of listening to the teacher and doing his work, he decides to punch him and kidnap his kids. Evidently, both of them had poor personalities due to the poor choices they made. With Dwayne and Russell as examples, people’s characters and personalities are defined by the choices they make in

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