Belle Prater's Boy Short Essay - Answer Key

Ruth White
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1. Who is Gypsy, and what does she explain about her Aunt Belle in Chapter 1?

In Chapter 1, twelve-year-old Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster explains the disappearance of her Aunt Belle. Aunt Belle, mother of Woodrow and wife of Everett, disappeared without a trace at dawn one morning and did not return. Everett explained that he heard her wake and walk out to use the privy, but that he went back to sleep. When he awoke and she had not returned, he looked for her, but she was missing.

2. Who are Gypsy's mother and stepfather, and where do they live?

Gypsy's mother, Love Ball Dotson, is the sister of Belle, and was terribly distraught when Belle disappeared. After six months, Everett was drinking a lot, and Woodrow was moved to live with his maternal grandparents who live next door to Gypsy and her mother and stepfather, Porter Dotson. Porter is the editor of the newspaper for Coal Station, Virginia, where they live. Coal Station is a small town, mostly of middle class workers, but Gypsy and her family live on a fairly lucrative estate in town.

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