Carson McCullers: Sucker

"There is one thing I have learned, but it makes me feel guilty and is hard to figure out. If a person admires you a lot you despise him and don't care -- and it is the person who doesn't notice you that you are apt to admire. This is not easy to realize." (p.2)

Thomas >>> I found this a very important part of our discussion today because it shows Pete reflecting on the past, and also maturing. However I thought it also showed a more important part of the story. I think this section conveys the story well as though the theme is put into words. I felt as if it was the moral of the story, having our discussion today in class brought this to my attention.

Hazel >>> Whenever Pete would start reflecting on the things that were happening he sounded a lot more grown up.

Paige >>> Pete really likes Maybelle, but the thing is she doesn't like him at all. It's kinda what part of the story is about: his trying to get her but she doesn't want him.

Tess >>> Pete is reflecting that how he treated Sucker is the same way as Maybelle treated him.


"Whenever I would bring any of my friends back to my room all I had to do was just glance once at Sucker and he would get up from whatever he was busy with and maybe half smile at me, and leave without saying a word."

Tess >>> Pete is starting to take control of what Sucker does.


"When Sucker was a little kid and up until the time he was twelve I guess I treated him as bad as Maybelle did me." (p.2)

John >>> This is a very important because Pete is realizing how mean he was to Sucker.


"I don't remember all the ugly remarks I must have made because even when I was saying them my mind was on Maybelle."

Joseph >>> Pete talks about all the nasty impressions he had put on Sucker (Richard) in the story. I can relate to this from me giving my little brother such a hard time 90% of the time I see him. I think this is because I am usually in a bad mood or have been treated rather badly, before I treat my younger brother Kenneth poorly. Whether it's from getting a hard time from my sister, Dad, Mom, brother, Max or friend and sometimes from a girl I like which relates to how he was hurt by Maybelle. I think this is important because, no matter how poorly you have been treated you should alway treat someone as you would like to be treated.


"All the boys are crazy about her but she didn't even notice me." (p.3)

John >>> Pete falls for Maybelle like Sucker falls for Pete, and they both ignore the person who is giving them attention.


"I never knew that in order to get what has happened straight in my mind I would want to think back on him as he used to be and compare and try to get things settled. If I could have seen ahead maybe I would have acted different."

"I wanted to show Sucker how much I really thought of him and make up for the way I had always treated him. We talked for a good while that night."

Tess >>> Pete is starting to notice that Sucker is his brother.


"She acted as though she really cared for me a little."

Maddy >>> Maybelle wasn't not caring for Pete, but she was not really caring for him very much. Basically Pete is saying that she was noticing him more than before.


"One night a few weeks before I had heard him crying in the dark. He said he had lost a boy's BB gun and was scared to let anybody know. He wanted me to tell him what to do. I was sleepy and tried to make him hush and when he wouldn't I kicked him. That's just one of the things I remembered. It seemed to me he had always been a lonesome kid. I felt bad."

Thomas >>> Pete seemed to have reflected on the past in most of the situations we thought showed him growing up. This part of the story we discussed briefly but I find it very important because Pete reflects on the past but also feels strongly about it.


"...but at the same time something about Sucker and his voice when he said these things made me take notice. Anyway I guess you understand people better when you are happy than when something is worrying you. It was like I had never really thought about Sucker until then. I felt I had always been mean to him."


"I just had to talk to some person. And usually that would be Sucker. He felt as good as I did."

"You're a swell kid Sucker."

Hazel >>> Whenever things were going well with Maybelle, Pete was nice to Sucker.


"It seemed awful to me that I had talked like that to a kid only twelve."

"I wanted to show Sucker how much really thought of him and make up for the way I had always treated him."


”. . .but I got to thinking it was good to have both of them at the movie with the money I earned."

Thomas >>> I hadn't had this one underlined previous to our discussion today. However I think it's a very important part of the story and our discussion today because it shows that Pete is growing up, and taking responsibility. I think this shows he is responsible because he mentions the money he has earned and how he feels good about it.


Pete says he could not put his mind on anything besides "being friendly to everybody."

Joseph >>> When something good happens to me, such as if I make a good painting or if a pretty girl likes me, I feel good about myself. Then I want other people to feel that way too and be built up, not torn down. I think this is important because people should want to build each other up, and help each other because people are naturally like that. If you think hard about it its true how even the evilest of people still help someone no matter how odd or twisted or evil the situation could be.

"I gave Sucker a quarter to get candy and so forth."


"I would worry about my shoes clopping too loud on the floor, or the fly on my pants, or the bumps on my chin."

Joseph >>> This part in the story I found quite "different" actually because I oddly never found myself in a time when I was actually in this situation which sounds almost sad actually and seems odd to me. I think this is because I never have been really insecure about anything. Whether it was how I looked, because I have never thought I was that bad looking. Or how I dressed or the sounds that I made these things about me never really bothered me, I think this is because I always found a way to make friends and think positively about myself. Also I really enjoy making people laugh. Although, people can suffer from having insecurity and many people go through it and can have it often. I think this is important because no matter what people think of you, you should never let them get inside your head whether it's about the way you act or look.

Maddy >>> This is proof of Pete’s starting to grow up and care about more things. he feels that he has to impress more people and stay “cool.“


"For several afternoons I stayed in my room by myself. I didn't want to go anywhere or talk to anyone. When Sucker would come in and look at me sort of funny I'd yell at him to get out. I didn't want to think of Maybelle and I sat at my desk reading Popular Mechanics or whittling at a toothbrush rack I was making. It seemed to me I was putting that girl out of my mind pretty well." (p.9)

Paige >>> Pete was doing things to get his mind off of Maybelle and move on. And to give more attention and energy to Sucker.


"No you don't know when you're not wanted. You're too dumb just like your name -- a dumb Sucker"

Hazel >>> When Maybelle started ignoring Pete, he lashed out at Sucker and said "shut your damn trap," when Sucker was trying to talk to him.


"And the thing is I just have to study because I've gotten three bad cards this term already. If I flunk English I can't graduate next year."

Hazel >>> Pete started to care about his grades and getting into college, which made him seem a lot more grown up.


"More than anything I want to be easy in my mind again. and I miss the way Sucker and I were for a while in a funny, sad way that before this I would have never believed." (p. 12)

Paige >>> Pete wants to solve what is wrong between him and Sucker; he doesn't want conflict anymore. He misses the way they were peaceful before in the story.


Maddy >>> Pete is very overwhelmed and that his mind used to be simple and easier. Now he has to deal with more.

"I don't even want to call him Sucker anymore and unless I forgot I call him by his real name, Richard."

John >>> After Sucker and Pete's big fight, the rest of the story Pete is growing up.


"And later when I wanted to apologize as I had planned he looked at me in this new hard way so that I couldn't say a word."

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