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There Are No Children Here - Analysis of Characters
Pharoah is the younger brother to Lafeyette, LaShawn, and Terence. He is an intelligent person. His mother LaJoe wants Pharaoh to do well in life. She thinks that he has the motivation to do whatever he would like to do. Pharoah has a lisp that makes him work harder in becoming a better person throughout the novel. "Pharoah was different, not only from Lafeyette but from the other children, too. He didn't have many friends, except for Porkchop, who was always by his side... Pharoah got so lost in his daydreams that LaJoe had to shake him to bring him back from his flights of fancy. Those forays into distant lands and with other people seemed to help Pharoah fend off the ugliness around him" (15). Pharoah was changed throughout the novel, overcoming his lisp and becoming confident in himself that he could one day escape the Horner homes.
Lafeyette is a teenager whose experiences in the Horner homes teaches him how the way of life works. Lafeyette is one of LaJoe's children who starts out as a promising child but changes throughout the novel trying new ideas that he was not familiar with. Lafeyette is a thin person. He is a "stick" to some people. Lafeyette experiences conflicts which affects his life. His 'mentor' Craig Davis. Craig's death affected him so much that Lafeyette's attitude became so different than what LaJoe was so used to. Lafeyette would hang around with his friend Rickey who was affiliated with the up and coming Four Corners: a young group of trouble-makers looking to start a new gang. Lafeyette didn't like hanging around with Rickey's friends. During the final chapters of the novel, Lafeyette is accused of stealing car parts from a pick up truck. He would be charged and sentenced for one year of probation. Lafeyette becomes what LaJoe dreaded: Lafeyette turning out to be his older brother Terence.
Lajoe is the mother of Lafeyette, Pharoah and to 5 other children. LaJoe has lived in the Horner home for most of her life. She moved to the Horner homes when she was 4 years old. Back in the early days she thought Horner was 'amazing' considering the changes it has gone through over the years. "But to LaJoe and her brothers and sisters, it all looked dazzling.
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Paul is the husband of Lajoe. Paul comes to visit his family at the Horner homes. He doesn't live with LaJoe but visits to be with his children. He does drugs which separates himself from his family. Pharaoh and Lafeyette don't enjoy the fact that he isn't around and affects his family: "I wish you'd stay out of our house. I don't know what you be coming back for. You be on the corner with all those dope fiends, embarrassing us"... He knew no son would hit his father over a lost dog. It was the drugs. They had destroyed his relationship with LaJoe and now with his son. He had never hit Lafeyette before except for occasional spankings when he was younger. It wasn't his nature. Now, his own children were turning on him. The only reason he came around was to see his children" (277-279).
Terence is the older brother to Lafeyette, Pharaoh and the triplets. Terence is an accused felon which was sentenced for 8 years in prison. In jail, Terence created a new physique: "In jail, Terence had been lifting weights three hours a day. He could now curl 120 pounds. His muscles bulged so that he couldn't button his gray Levi's" (230). Terence's jail time would affect the Rivers family.