Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

868 WordsJul 15, 20184 Pages
Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush, by Virginia Hamilton, was first published in 1982. The estimated reading level for this book is twelve years old and up. Some of the issues examined in the book, such as child abuse, disease, and drug use, will be better understood by junior high age students. This novel would probably attract more female readers than male. The protagonist is a teenage girl named Tree who lives with her mentally challenged brother, Dab. She is responsible for taking care of herself and Dab. Tree begins to see a ghost who reveals her early childhood to her. Throughout the novel we see Tree’s struggle with what the revelations signify about her life as well as her daily struggle to keep…show more content…
In the beginning of the novel M’Vy is described as an almost mythical, larger than life figure who appears bringing gifts and food, then leaves but whose presence permeates the dwelling despite the brevity of the visits. Other characters include Silversmith and Old Miss Pricherd. Silversmith is a flat character. Old Miss Pricherd changes as a result of being asked to move in with Tree. This change is important as it relates to a major theme in Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. THEME: The major theme in SWBR concerns love and acceptance. No one is infallible and in order to love we must accept each other’s deficiencies. M’Vy was unable to accept Dab and this led to the abuse she inflicted on him as a small child. Tree learns the truth about the abuse and must learn to forgive M’Vy in order to continue loving her. Acceptance is also echoed in the conversation she has with Silversmith; Tree must accept and appreciate her skin color in order that she not be self-conscious or ashamed. Old Miss Pricherd is a sneaky, mean-spirited woman at the beginning of the novel, but changes once she is allowed into the family—if only because it means no longer living alone. At the very end of the novel, Tree demonstrates her growth and acceptance of her new life by affectionately approaching the old woman. STYLE: Hamilton’s style is very direct, straightforward. This lends some credibility to the more

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