The Whipping Boy Literary Qualities

Sid Fleischman
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Fleischman first came upon the idea for The Whipping Boy while doing historical research. Fleischman is a tireless researcher, and the backgrounds of his stories are always authentic. He prefers to set his stories in the past. His tall tales are faithful to the customs and speech patterns of the western frontier; McBroom and his family are pioneers from Connecticut who settle in Iowa. For The Whipping Boy Fleischman did a great deal of background reading, including Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (1851-1862).

Fleischman says he made his sentences as simple as possible. The prose is economically structured, and the imagery is fresh. For example, on the night the boys run away "the moon gazed down like an evil eye," giving a sense of foreboding of the dangerous times ahead. The plotting is ingenious. As Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater close in on the two hiding...

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This section contains 415 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Whipping Boy Study Guide
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