Billy Bathgate Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 6 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Billy Bathgate.
This section contains 480 words
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The title character of the novel is a boy from the East Bronx who takes his last name from a street near his home, Bathgate Avenue, which he calls "the street of plenty, the street of the fruits of the earth." Billy is very much a child of the street, and that is naturally where he looks for life and opportunity in his 1930s tenement neighborhood. He has not learned about selfreliance by reading Emerson and Thoreau; the experience of danger and temptation on the street has been his direct teacher. Billy is resourceful and daring because he needs these qualities to survive. He has to think and move quickly in a world that is seldom far from violence and death. The first scene of the novel shows Billy as a witness to the murder of a gang member whose feet are set in cement for a ritual drowning...

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This section contains 480 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Billy Bathgate Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Billy Bathgate from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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