The Adventures of Augie March Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What type of relationship does Augie have with his mother at the opening of the novel?

At the opening of the novel, Augie is only nine years old and deeply loves his mother even though she is described as "beaten down, simple-minded, and worn-out." Momma wears large men's shoes with the laces untied, and clearly doesn't have a proper education, but this does not mean she is incapable of giving or receiving love, which Augie craves.

2. Who is "Grandma"?

Grandma is an old Russian Jew that owns the building Augie and his family live in. She is not a true relative, but demands to be called "Grandma" by the children. She is tyrannical in her rule, needs to be in control of everyone's lives, and is an illegal matchmaker on the side of running her apartment buildings.

3. Why is Augie sent to live with his cousins, the Coblins?

Augie is sent to live with the Coblins when it becomes clear that the family needs help completing their paper route. Augie is given a small wage and free housing with his cousins. The house is slovenly, bu the family takes good care of Augie and he feels great pride being able to return home with spending money.

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