Mercurys Maturity Essay

This essay has a total of 788 words and 4 pages.

Mercurys Maturity



Mercury’s Maturity: A Response to “Raymond’s Run”
Former Miami Dolphin Head Coach Don Shula once said, “If you're going to take gambles, you
must have one thing: self-confidence.” Some people go through their whole lives skeptical
of themselves. Most people are afraid to take chances for this same reason. Robert Olen
Butler’s character in “Raymond’s Run,” Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker is a remarkable
character because she is mature at such a young age. Hazel is a unique child because of
her grown-up characteristics. Self-confidence, self-identity, and a caring nature are
some qualities that make Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker a phenomenal character.

Hazel is truly an unbelievable character because of her self-confidence. A point could be
made that “Mercury” is overconfident. Hazel is not being arrogant; rather she is
comfortable with the truth. “I always win cause I’m the best” (9), Mercury could be
considered disdainful is she hasn’t proved that she is the best but she has validated that
she is the top dog. Another example of Hazel’s self-confidence is her training routine.
“I’ll high prance down 34th Street like a rodeo pony to keep my knees strong…” (5). A
child wants to be accepted by his/her peers and the child does not want to look strange in

front of them. That may be the case with most children but not with Hazel. Hazel does
not care who sees her walking in this peculiar manor as long as she strengthens her legs.

Hazel believes she can be the best at everything and this confidence should not be mistaken or taken as arrogance.
Another unique trait Hazel has acquired is her self-identity. Hazel is comfortable with
who she is. “…a poor black girl who really can’t afford to buy shoes and a new dress you
only wear once a lifetime cause it won’t fit next year” (14). Hazel knows her
circumstances and is comfortable with them, “I am not a strawberry. I do not dance on my
toes. I run. That is what I am all about” (15). Hazel also likes her name and will not
have people call her Squeaky, “‘Well Squeaky,’ he says…‘Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker,’ I
correct him and tell him to write it down on his board” (19). Hazel always has a sense of
what is right and what is wrong. Hazel isn’t too pleased when Mr. Pearson asked her to
throw the race, “I give him such a look he couldn’t finish putting that idea into words”
(21). Hazel also doesn’t care for people who are fake, “Now you take Cynthia Procter for
instance…If there’s a test tomorrow, she’ll say something…just to let you know she ain’t
thinking about the test…I could kill people like that” (5). Most people aren’t aware of
who they are until later in life, but Hazel knows who she is at a very young age.

Although Hazel is confident in herself and aware of her self-identity, she also cares for
those around her. Hazel is a very caring person towards her brother Raymond. At an age
when most children can not even be alone themselves, Hazel is watching her

mentally handicapped brother. Hazel knows she has to protect her brother, “…someone’s
liable to walk up to him and get smart, or take his allowance, or ask him where he got
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