IsRusty-James right to glorify the Motorcycle Boy?

Havingbeen born in a poor family set up with no abandoned by their motherand living with carefree drunkard father, Rusty-James has no one tolookup to all depend on apart from his violent and kleptomaniacbrother the Motorcycle Boy. Living a rather violent childhood,without a father figure, and riding on an ego to prove himself to bea strong man to his brother the motorcycle boy a gang leader, andmisguided individual, Rusty-James does what every other kid does andby finding a hero to shadow, and he has found that in his elderbrother. Hence, Rusty-James is right to glorify the Motorcycle Boybecause he is more than a brother, he is, a father figure and a herowho gets things done with no fear for danger.

Whois the Motorcycle Boy?

Thereader does not know the Motorcycle Boy real name, all we areinformed of is he is the protagonist’s elder brother and he got hisname the Motorcycle Boy from his love for motorcycles, he even has ahabit of stealing and riding motorcycle. The Motorcycle Boy is colorblind and at times deaf because of motorcycle accidents, despitethis, he is a charismatic natural leader, however, quite odd since heis not connected to the rest people in the society. According toRusty-James, as he says in at Hinton (6), “he had strange eyesthey made me think of a two-way mirror. Like you could see somebodyon the other side watching you, but the only reflection you see wasyour own…” The Motorcycle Boy had been expelled from school forscoring perfect tests, an indication that the school authorities wereof the notion that he was not capable, concluding he had cheated inthe test. The Motorcycle Boy is the leader of the Gang the Parkers,who despises drug junkies, as it is, rumored he once killed a junkie.So is the Motorcycle Boy worth all the gorily directed to him byRusty-James?

IsRusty-James right to glorify the Motorcycle Boy?

“Istopped being a kid when I was five” Hinton (29). By the age offourteen, shopkeepers had stopped asking for his ID, and he could buyliquor. The Motorcycle Boy creates an image of himself to be maturecompared to the other kids in the novel in addition, to the feelingof being more mature than the others, he seemed older than his realage. Considering his reputation where he is perceived to older thankids in his age group, then it was justified for Rusty-James toglorify him. In addition, older kids always asked for advice fromhim, which is evident to show he was brighter and more experiencedthan most the kids were, this shows he disserved the glory creditedto him by his young brother. The fact that their father was neverthere for them as they grew up might have attributed to Rusty-Jamesglorifying his elder brother the Motorcycle Boy. There existed adisconnection between Rusty-James and his father mainly because hefailed to understand the young Rusty. On the other hand, MotorcycleBoy was more involved with his young brother, probably ending upbeing a bad influence as Rusty-James picked some bad habits from hisreckless and violent elder brother. Therefore, looking up to theMotorcycle Boy as his stand-in father figure may without doubt is acontributor of the violence in his life as he tries to prove to hiselder brother he was a man. This justifies Rusty-James’ glorifyingthe Motorcycle Boy, as he is not only his brother but also a rolemodel (Young Adult literature 1).

“Yousaid you were going to quit fighting all the time, since when? Sinceyou beat up Skip Handly. You promised me you wouldn’t fight all thetime, oh yeah. Well, this isn’t all the time. This is just once…”(Hinton 17-18). This is an example to show Rusty-James in constanttarsal with his peers in order to show his supremacy. Rusty evendisobeys his girlfriend when she calls him urging him to fight. Rustyis obsessed with proving to his brother he is brave and following inhis steps. The Motorcycle Boy is his hero, and Rusty-James glorifieshim by following his footsteps as he tries to impress his peers. Thismakes him get attached to his brother as hesays, “For a tough kid I had a bad habit of getting attached topeople” (Hinton 2). This might be attributed to the fact that, “hismother abandoned him as a baby, and left alone by his father forthree days when he went out drinking” (Hinton 2). This madeRusty-James to develop fear of seclusion, and cautious of thosearound him. Probably, due to the poverty they are subjected to, theyare forced to steal, scavenge, and only hope their father would notdrink up all the pension money. The suffering in their lifetransformed the MotorcycleBoy into the little thief and violent kid he turned to be, thingsseemingly coming with easy to leads Rusty-James to glorify theMotorcycle Boy.

Rusty-Jamesis attracted to the kleptomaniac acts of his elder the MotorcycleBoy. According to Hinton (1), “they called him the Motorcycle Boydue to his passion for motorcycles… he had a bad habit of borrowingpeople’s motorcycles and going for rides without informing theowner of his intentions.” These habits though dangerous andcareless do excite teenagers and this are the lead course why Rustywas fond of his brother. Rusty had found a hero in his brother heidolized him and shadowed him everywhere. Therefore, Rusty-James isjustified to glorify the Motorcycle Boy since he is a hero figure, tothe young Rusty. Despite the fact that the Motorcycle Boy did nothave any friends he could have been associated with and neither didhe have any interests in the gangs associated with him, to hisbrother Rusty-James, he represented perfection. Therefore, Rustywanted to be as cool as the Motorcycle Boy, be smart as the he was,and be able to remain calm and be able to smile whenever he was indanger like the Motorcycle Boy always did. Once the Motorcycle Boyrode away for two weeks and Rusty almost got crazy out of control ashe got himself into fights. Therefore, Rusty-James is right in hisglorification of his brother the Motorcycle Boy since his worldrevolved around him (Young Adult literature 2).

Onthe other hand Rusty-James is not justified to glorify his brothersince this is a form of blind hero-worship. Noticing the gradual downfall of his brother due changed behavior, the Motorcycle Boy says,“Whata funny situation … I wonder what I`m doing here, holding myhalf-dead brother, surrounded by bricks and cement and rats&quot(Hinton 98). From the words of the MotorcycleBoy, the author of the novel is trying to open up the reader to seethe negative side of blind hero-worship. Rusty-James followed hisbrother unwisely not realizing his brother was intellectually brightand was able to control himself. From the personal battlesRusty-James is battling with what goes on in his life, turningviolence as his driving force makes it unjustifiable for Rusty-Jamesnot to glorify his brother the Motorcycle Boy.


Toa larger extend it is justifiable for Rusty-James to glorify hiselder brother the MotorcycleBoy especially considering the fact that he grew with no father rolemodel to guide him and all he had for a brother for a role model. Inaddition, other kids even those older than Motorcycle Boy went to himto seek advice, prove he is worth the glory. Considering how violenttheir childhood was characterized by small gangs, the Motorcycle Boywas a perfect example to Rusty-James on how to handle himself in thechaotic environment, making it right for Rusty to glorify him. On theother hand, the Motorcycle Boy is not worth all that praise since heturned out to be a bad example to his younger brother who shadowedhis every move. In the long run, Rusty-James self-destructs trying tobe like his brother the Motorcycle Boy. Therefore, the author usesthe characters of the Motorcycle Boy and Rusty-James to illustratehow blind hero-worship can lead to the downfall of an individual’sexistence as it happened to Rusty-James.


Hinton,S. E. RumbleFish.New York: Delacorte, 1975. Print.

YoungAdult literature. RumbleFish“AHistory of Violence, Hero-Worship, and Abandonment.” 2014. Print.