Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does "Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush" begin?

"Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush" begins with Teresa "Tree" walking home from school, covering herself when the boys call out to her.

2. Describe Brother Rush as Tree first sees him.

The first time Tree sees him, Brother Rush is dressed in a very nice suit. He is pale-skinned with freckles, and he reminds Tree of a do-wah singer from the 1950s, with a belt-buckle that reads 'Jazz' in script. He sits on a stoop with one hand over his ear, as if he were listening to music.

3. How is Dab described?

Dab has some unspecified mental debility, and does not behave like a normal person his age, he is barely passing school.

4. What is Tree and Dab's relationship with their mother like?

Muh Voyeur (pronounced M'Vy) is hardly around, because she works as a home health care aide, and lives with her patients for most of the week--sometimes she is gone for more than a week at a time. Nonetheless, her name is supposed to be pronounced with soft tenderness, so the children have a lot of affection for her in spite of her absences.

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