Imagine moving to Florida. The first thought that probably forms in your brain is the perfect place – palm trees and sunshine, and maybe even some tangerines. Well that is not how the main character, Paul Fisher, experiences it at all. The protagonist in the novel Tangerine by Edward Bloor has an entirely different experience. Whether it is the bad weather, his school, or his big-bad brother, he definitely isn’t living a paradise. This companion book jumps into Paul Fisher’s complicated life.
In the first two chapters of the companion book, you analyze his first experiences in his new home where you can see his family and himself struggle and how they deal with certain situations which can tell the reader about their personality. Later on, you see how certain characters are similar and different to the protagonist (Paul Fisher). This shows you how different characters with the different personalities can affect the novel. Finally, you take a look at the symbolism and theme. This companion book dives into Tangerine and takes a closer look at what was happening.
Chapter 1: Hidden Problems (Problem and Solution) As soon as the Fisher family gets into Florida, there are problems. Problems that were overlooked before moving into the area – by the father. Although the dad was not greatly affected by the issues, the mother gets very unhappy with the situation. The many small issues add up to one giant problem; and that was moving to Florida. Because it is too late to move back, they must come up with solutions. First and foremost, in the area they are living there is rain and lightning at the same time in the afternoon almost every day
ICITIS aIUTIU ICI. which is the same time when the football team practices. The Lake Windsor Middle School has no gym, no auditorium, no shade, and a field that is always flooded. Later on in the story the reader learns that the school is on unstable ground, which results in a sinkhole; and that affects the father’s business. The mother is very troubled by all of the problems, but she is determined to fix them. “It occurred to me, as we unpacked the things that are Florida, that mom might actually hate moving here” (Bloor 23).
The reader can tell from this sentence that although the mom hated to move to Florida, she never complained once. This tells the reader something about her personality – she is very determined and not easily discouraged. That helps her when she tries to fix the problems around her. However, these overlooked problems all have solutions, and the mother does her best to repair what she thinks the father has hidden from the family.
When it comes to the rain, she knows she can’t change the weather, but she can change the football practices so they are not playing in lightning storms. On our way to the parking lot, she said, ‘These boys shouldn’t be out in a thunderstorm… Why can’t they practice in the morning, when it doesn’t rain? This is ridiculous. When you know it’s definitely going to rain at exactly the same time every day… ‘ “(Bloor 29-30). From this line, the reader can see that the mom is very passionate. This line is a little bit of foreshadowing for the ion-to-come. After this personal encounter with the players in the rain she gets confused on why they still practice in the afternoon.
A chapter or two later, you see why the mother was concerned with the safety of the football players. On page 49, you learn that Mike Costello had died. He had died because of a lightning strike as he was playing football in the daily thunderstorm. That is when the mother’s plan goes into action. She organizes a carpool for the boys so that they are all able to practice football in the morning with no rain. Next, the problems with the school. Lake Windsor School is a school with no gym, auditorium, any shade at all, and a field that is always flooded.
Although the school doesn’t get new equipment or a new building, Paul no longer has to worry about that. The unstable ground underneath where the classrooms were built (another problem) caused a sinkhole during the school year. After the sinkhole, Paul was transferred to a different school which had much better conditions. “‘We call this the Building,’ Mrs. Gates explained. ‘It contains the main office, the cafeteria, the library, and the sixth-grade classrooms’ “(Bloor 24-25). “‘Don’t you have an auditorium? ‘ Mom asked… What about a gym? … Mom eyed the field with alarm.
‘How would you ever know if there were some emergency out here? ‘… The field was now completely flooded, like a rice paddy” (Bloor 25-27) The mother was the one who identified all of the problems at Lake Windsor School and she foreshadowed the fact that Paul wasn’t going to stay there very long in one way or another. As a result, after the sinkhole, when given the choice to go to a different school and then come back, or to just transfer to another school, she chose to just transfer to a different school.
Transferring to another school helped fix another problem with a solution now that her son was not directly affected by it. Finally, she contributed to the thief problem. She found out who the robbers were because of her personality. If she wasn’t so organized she wouldn’t have noticed the bag that wasn’t supposed to be in their storage container – a bag full of priceless jewels. On page 271, she says, ” ‘On November twenty-second, I made a shocking discovery. While out at our storage bin, searching for boxes of winter clothing, I found a gym bag that did not belong there.
When I opened this gym bag, I found a U. S Army gas mask, a pair of rubber gloves, and a plastic supermarket bag filled with diamond earrings, watches, gold rings, and many other types of precious jewelry. ‘ ” This shows that due to her organization skills, she solved a problem that affected a lot of people. This wasn’t directly ignored by the dad, but if he knew that the bugs in the area could cause people to have to leave their houses open due to them being gassed, he could have thought twice about it. It was an easy opportunity for thieves, but as always, the mom fixed the issue.
The hidden problems that came with moving to Florida now had a solution thanks to the mom. She had a big impact to the family and everyone else who was affected by the issues. Whether it was about rain, a school, or even bugs, the mother’s personality helped her give a solution to each problem. Chapter 2: A Rerun of a Bad Dream (Compare and Contrast) Throughout the story a pattern seemed to be occurring. Twice, Paul has had friends over and Erik has made them leave and not want to come back. When Joey came over Erik made fun of him and his brother – making Joey want to leave and never come back.
When Tino, Theresa, and Henry come over the same thing happens and ends up in the same result. The first time someone came over to Paul’s house, it ended up in a disaster. When Joey came over Erik ruins it. “Erik, carrying all of his football gear, swiped at Arthur with his helmet and said, ‘Hey, check it out. It’s Mohawk Man’s brother'” (Bloor 110). When Erik talks about Mohawk man he is talking about Joey’s brother because his hair was crazy when he was struck by lightning. Erik and Arthur were making fun of Joey and his brother, but Joey or Paul didn’t do anything.
It was like the antagonists had stripped them of their ability to speak. Joey doesn’t ever want to come back again after that happens. The next time that happens, it almost unfolds the same exact way. First Theresa, Tino, and Henry come over, and then they go outside – very similar to when Joey came over. Erik and Arthur then make fun of Theresa, Tino, and Henry, and then that is when the two stories separate. “‘I think it’s great that these farm-labor kids get to spend a day away from the fields’… Tino gave me the strangest look…
He stalked over to Erik with his fists clenched… ” (Bloor 198). This shows the reader that Tino is very unlike Joey. Joey barely made a sound when Erik mocked him, and Tino ended up mocking Erik back. “But Tino kept it up: Yeah. I really like that thing you do, Funny Guy, when you pretend to kick a football and then you go flyin’ up in the air and then you land right on your ass’ ” (Bloor 199). Unlike Joey, Tino had the courage to stand up to the antagonist. Until Erik slapped him across the face so hard that Tino was almost knocked out.
Erik also made him bleed because of a gold varsity ring that hit Tino behind the ear. In the end, the reader can see that Joey’s personality causes him to be quiet and passive very divergent to Tino and his very courageous, unique personality. The pattern that had seemed to occur twice was put into the book for a reason. Edward Bloor wanted the reader to see how different characters would react to the antagonist’s teasing and mocking. Paul describes the whole thing as a rerun of a bad dream because it had happened once before, but then happened again resulting in the same ending for both.