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
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
that great big pumpkin head? (5). Hazel watches over Raymond, ?I?m standing on the corner? and I?ve got Raymond walking on the inside close to the buildings, cause he?s subject to fits of fantasy? (4). Hazel also protects her brother from other children, ??You got anything to say to my brother, you say it to me, Mary Louise Williams of Raggedy Town, Baltimore? (10). Also, Hazel stops what she loves to do most, run, so she can teach her brother how to run track. ?I can always retire as a runner and begin a whole new career as a coach with Raymond as my champion? (24). This is the best example to explain Hazel?s maturity. Most children her age only think of themselves. However, Hazel has decided to help her brother because he has talent and she wants to give him something.
Hazel?s mature traits make her an astonishing character. Hazel is confident in her ability as an athlete and as a student. Hazel is confident with her identity and her morals. However, Hazel does not only think of herself because she cares a great deal for her brother Raymond. This character is sure to make a lot of people ask themselves, ?Where did I go wrong?? Hazel is not only one hell of a runner she is also confident, comfortable, and caring.