The Whipping Boy Themes & Characters

Sid Fleischman
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Fleischman's ability to create memorable characters is frequently compared to that of the English novelist Charles Dickens. Although short, The Whipping Boy brings a number of such characters to life. Perhaps the most colorful characters are the book's two villains, Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater.

Hold-Your-Nose Billy is as "big and raw as a skinned ox" and is constantly chewing garlic cloves. His partner is small and bony with a nose "like a meat cleaver." They are genuine villains, but their ineptness gives them a comic dimension. They are immensely proud of the unsavory reputations the city's ballad singers have created for them.

They are so dense, however, that it is scarcely a challenge for the quick-witted Jemmy to outsmart them. Other comic characters are Prince Horace's tutor, the round-faced Master Peckwit, who balances a pair of small spectacles on his nose; Betsy and her huge dancing bear...

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This section contains 663 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Whipping Boy Study Guide
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