Good Night, Mr. Tom Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why has Willie come to stay with Tom and how does Tom feel about this?

There is war, and in the cities the children are exposed to bombings. Those who can afford it move out of the city during the bombings. Those who can't, ask for help in placing their children in the homes of those who will help. Willie is one of those children, and Tom is one of the adults who lives in the country and has offered to help. Tom is a bit gruff, so it seems that he is not happy about having Willie with him. At one point when he realizes that Willie has been beaten, Tom wonders what he has gotten himself involved in.

2. Why does Willie believe that he is a bad boy and what are the consequences of his being one?

Willie's mother beats him. Though she claims that he only gets a "soft beating," he has bruises from them. Willie believes that he is beaten because he is a bad boy. Perhaps he is too nosy when he looks outside of Tom's window. Or perhaps he is bad because he was not hungry when he should have been. Or that he vomited because he was afraid Tom was going to hurt him with the hot fire poker.

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This section contains 8,063 words
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