A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Themes & Characters

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The characters include thirteen-yearold Benjie, his friends and family members, his teachers and principal, drug pushers, and a fortuneteller. Benjie is the central character, but of almost equal importance is the boy's "stepfather," Butler Craig, who lives with Benjie's mother.

Benjie uses heroin but insists that he can stop whenever he chooses. He blames others around him for his problems, including his former best friend, Jimmy-Lee, who started Benjie on drugs and then stopped "using" himself. Benjie sees his mother, Rose, and his grandmother, Mrs. Bell, as overly critical and uninterested in him. Most of all, he blames Butler, who Benjie feels can simply walk away from the family if he chooses.

In school, Benjie idolizes Nigeria Greene, a fiery Black Nationalist who instills racial pride in his students at the expense of the prescribed school curriculum. Benjie also grudgingly admires Bernard Cohen, a...

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This section contains 572 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Short Guide
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A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.