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Surviving and Thriving in Bud, not Buddy

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Surviving And Thriving In Bud, Not Buddy

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Is it necessary to have rules in order to survive? In the novel, Bud, Not Buddy, author Christopher Paul Curtis explores the life of a young orphan boy named Bud Caldwell and his quest to survive during the great depression. Throughout the story Bud follows his, “Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making A Better Liar Out of Yourself” which help him along his journey. An example of one of Bud’s rules is on page 27 of chapter 3. Rule number 328 states, “ When You Make Up Your Mind to Do Something, Hurry Up and Do It, If You Wait You Might Talk Yourself Out of What You Wanted in the First Place.” This rule helps Bud survive by reminding him to trust his instincts when making decisions and to not second guessing himself. When Bud was trapped in the Amoses shed, he used this rule when preparing to kill a sleeping “vampire bat.” “Shucks, I couldn’t remember for sure if you killed a vampire by driving a stake in its heart of shooting it with a silver bullet!” With a rake in his hand, Bud stopped and got the knife out of his pocket in case he needed to stab it in the chest with the silver blade. By following his instincts, Bud was determined to not be trapped in a shed with a “vampire bat” that could attack him when it woke up. By not following rule number 328, Bud could have been ultimately injured by the “vampire bat.” 

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Another example of Bud’s rules is on page 157 in chapter 13. Rule number 63 states, “ Never, Ever Say Something Bad About Someone You Don’t know-Especially When Your’re Around a Bunch of Strangers. You Never Can Tell Who Might Be Kin to That Person or Who Might Be a Lip-Flapping, Big-Mouth Spy.” This rule helps Bud survive by reminding him to be careful about what he says around strangers. Bud accidently breaks this rule when he calls Mr. C a “mean old coot.” He realizes that by saying this out loud to the band members who he just met, that one of them could easily tell Mr. C what he said about him. By not following rule number 63, Mr C. could have become very upset with Bud when he found out that he was called a “mean old coot.” 

Fortunately, Mr. C. never finds out and Bud is reminded a good survival lesson. Finally, the last example of Bud’s rules is on page 11 in chapter 2. Rule number 3 states, “If you Got to Tell a LIe, Make Sure It’s Simple and Easy to Remember.” Despite Todd provoking Bud to hit him by shoving a pencil up his nose while he slept, Todd quickly tells his mom a lie that gets Bud in trouble. “I’m not bragging when I say that i’m one of the best liars in the world but I got to tell you, Todd was pretty doggone good.” This rule helps Bud survive because he knows that by keeping a lie short and easy to remember, they become more believable and less likely for the truth to be discovered. By not following rule number 3, the lie becomes too confusing and hard to believe. To conclude, by following his rules, Bud is able to keep on track and persevere in life. As a result, Bud succeeds by not only surviving the great depression but also finding his forever home.       

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