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Bud, Not Buddy: A Story Map
Transcript of Bud, Not Buddy: A Story Map
(Curtis, 1999) takes place during the Great Depression. The story begins at an orphanage in Flint, Michigan. As the story goes on Bud travels to a foster home, a soup kitchen, a library, and another family’s home in Flint. Once Bud leaves Flint and makes his way to Grand Rapids, Michigan, the settings for this story become a music hall, a restaurant, the band leader’s house, and on the road traveling with the band.
POINT OF VIEW
Bud tells the story of
Bud, Not Buddy
from a first person point of view. We see what Bud sees, hear what he hears, and think what he thinks (Curtis, 1999).
As with any good novel there is more than one conflict present.
The first is Person vs. Society (Nichol, 2013). Bud must struggle for survival in a society that is in desperate shape. He is unwanted by everyone as he is both poor, an orphan, and African-American. In spite of these struggles, Bud maintains an extremely positive, polite, charming, and resolute personality.
In spite of these struggles, Bud maintains an extremely positive, polite, charming, and resolute personality. He overcomes the despair around him by persevering no matter what, by relying on his natural intelligence, and his "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things to have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself" (Curtis, 1999, p. 11). His refusal to quit or back down means that he will eventually overcome these difficulties and not just survive, but thrive.
The second conflict is Person vs. Person (Nichol, 2013). Bud is in search for his father. With his mother dead and only a few clues to go one, Bud must travel the length of Michigan in search of the man that he believes is his father. Against all odds, he successfully finds the man only to discover that he is a cranky, and difficult old man. Bud must then convince Herman E. Calloway that he really is Bud’s father even though Herman E. Calloway and everyone around him claim that this is impossible.
Bud witnesses Herman E. Calloway picking up a smooth stone and writing the place and date on it. He expresses the fact that he has similar stones given to him by his mother and is called a liar. Upon producing the stones along with a picture of his mother it is revealed that Herman E. Calloway is not, in fact, his father. Herman E. Calloway is, as it turns out, his
! Bud’s mother ran away from home as a young woman and was never seen again, and now Bud has come home to give them all the news of her death. He makes up for this news, of course, with the knowledge of his existence and is welcomed home with open and loving arms from the entire band.
We meet Bud, learn his rules, and get a glimpse of his life at the orphanage and at his first foster home.
Bud escapes his cruel foster family and is forced to find food and shelter on his own. He decides his only option left is to find his father.
Thinking that his father is the famous band leader Herman E. Calloway, he decides to walk to from Flint, MI to Grand Rapids, MI; a journey that is 120 miles long.
On the journey to Grand Rapids, he is discovered by a railroad Pullman by the name of Lefty Lewis. Bud convinces Lefty that he comes from Grand Rapids (which is also where Lefty comes from) and that he ran away from home. Lefty agrees to take Bud back "home" to grand rapids, thereby saving Bud a lot of walking (and likely his life as a small African-American boy walking alone during that time period was not safe).
Upon reaching Grand Rapids, Bud locates the man he thinks is his father, Herman E. Calloway, and introduces himself. Herman E. Calloway is not happy and refuses to believe him. Luckily the other members of the band, in particular the singer, Miss Thomas take pity on him. While no one believes he is Herman E. Calloway's son, they do decide to take him in as he is a sweet boy and obviously undernourished, scared, and alone.
The band adopts him as one of their own and gives him a recorder to practice music on. He is also required to help out where he can. He is put into the room of a little girl who is "gone." According to Bud's "Rules and Things Number 28: Gone = Dead" (Curtis, 1999, p. 178), and he is scared to be left alone in the room.
Bud goes on the road with the band and at one stop witnesses Herman E. Calloway pick up a smooth stone and write the place and date on it with a felt tip pen. This is significant because among Bud's treasured possessions from his mother is a bag of stones just like that with places and dates written on them. When Bud announces that he has some just like that, he is called a liar and a thief.
Upon returning to the house, Bud produces the stones and a picture of his mother. It is revealed that this proves Herman E. Calloway cannot be his father, but is instead his
! Herman E. Calloway's daughter ran away as a teenager and was never heard from again. The stones and the picture prove that Bud's mother is Herman E. Calloway's daughter. Bud has been living in his Mother's room all along.
Herman E. Calloway and Miss Thomas are broken by the news of his daughters death, and spend time crying. It is revealed that Herman E. Calloway demanded a lot of himself and even more of his daughter, causing her to rebel and run away.
The band gets together to buy Bud a second-hand saxophone. He is welcomed home and knows that his life from now on will be filled with happy events, good times, and much love and belonging. He is home.
The themes of
Bud, Not Buddy
(Curtis, 1999) are perseverance, hope, family, and survival. Bud must negotiate a wide array of obstacles, but never gives up, never quits, and always hopes that someday he will find the place that he belongs and a family to love him. Even though he does not find the exact type of family he was seeking, he is rewarded far beyond his possible dreams.
Elements of literature.
Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/elements-of-literature.html
Curtis, C. P. (1999).
Bud, Not Buddy.
New York, NY: Yearling
Elements of Plot.
Retrieved from: http://www.37stars.org/2008/10/elements-of-a-story-part-i/
Nichol, M. (2013).
7 Types of Narrative Conflict
. Retrieved from: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/7-types-of-narrative-conflict/