Anne Tyler
Three main characters?
Bet, Arnold, and Avery
Describe Arnold physically.
-great glassy eyes
-fair hair
-elderly face
-thin-skinned (almost transparent)
How old is Arnold?
What is Bet wearing?
-flat-heeled loafers
-worn beige knit dress
-blue kerchief
What was odd about the clothes Arnold and Bet were wearing today?
They were too "nice" (unpatched, unfaded, and Sunday-worn)
Describe Arnold's new jacket.
-brown corduroy with a hood
-cost half a week's salary
What did Arnold moan, rock, and shake his head?
He didn't want to put on his new jacket since he preferred his little red duffel coat he'd previously outgrown
Who was at the entrance when Bet and Arnold were leaving and what did he/she have?
Mrs. Puckett; a plastic bag of peanut butter cookies (Arnold's favorite)
Who was Mrs. Puckett?
Arnold's old babysitter who saw Bet and Arnold leave their apartment
What did Bet buy at the train station?
tickets and a pack of Wrigley's spearmint gum
Why didn't Bet like giving Arnold gum?
He sometimes swallowed it and she thought that it would clog his kidneys
What was it odd that Arnold did as a baby?
He had jittery, jerky catnaps and gave a strange single wail before he slept
Who was Avery?
Bet's previous husband and Arnold's father who left them after the doctor talked to them about Arnold
How did Avery and Bet split the blame for Arnold's disorder?
How did Bet imagine the "evil gene?"
a dark little egg like a black jelly bean
What were things Bet at times blamed for the condition of her son?
-the father's genes
-her genes
-marrying too early against her parents' wishes
Describe Bet's parents' home.
-a green trailer on cinder blocks
-near a forests of masts in Saltspray, Maryland
What did Bet's father do for a living?
ran a fishing boat for tourists
What is the quote the title is named after?
"Her father (who'd run a fishing boat for tourists) couldn't arrange his day till he'd heard the marine forecast-the wind, the tides, the small-craft warnings, the height of the average waves in unprotected waters."
What did Bet's father try to teach her and why didn't she like it?
bodysurfing; there was something about the breakers
How far apart were the deaths of Bet's parents?
Within a year of each other
What did Bet do as solace when Avery left?
Stayed in their apartment for months even though she couldn't pay the rent
What are some things Bet points out to Arnold to prevent tantrums on the train?
-the hat with feathers on it
-the red suitcase
What was the song the conductor sang?
Girl of my dreams. I love you.
With whom did the conductor argue with and why?
A tiny black lady in a purple coat with a fox fur piece biting its own tail around her neck; she snuck on the train through the washroom at Beulah
What did the lady with the purple coat call the conductor and what did she sound like?
Viper, Monger, and Hitler; a parrot
How did Bet and Arnold react to the women screaming at the conductor?
Bet winced while Arnold laughed
What station did their train take them?
Parkingsville Railroad Station
To where did Bet and Arnold take a cab?
Parkins State Hospital
What did Bet tell the taxicab driver?
To wait on her and not leave
Why didn't Bet want to give Arnold a peanut-butter cookie?
She wanted him to look his best
Describe the lights in the hospital.
chilly, hanging ice-cube-tray lights with a little flicker to them
What did the hospital smell like?
pine-oil disinfectant
Describe the patients Bet and Arnold passed on the way to Arnold's room.
fat, ugly women in shapeless gray dresses and ankle socks
What was the only sign that children lived in Arnold's hospital room?
a tiny cardboard clown picture
How long do residents stay before family can visit them?
6 months
What is mother's name?
Bet Blevins
What did Bet leave Arnold in the hospital?
His special blanket
What train is Bet trying to catch on her way home?
the twelve-thirty-two
How late is the train going back home going to take to arrive to the station?
20 minutes
Who comes and talks in front of Bet at the train station and why?
the mayor; to talk about the expansion of the old railway station
How was the world going to be now for Bet at the end of the story?
something on a stage