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Dicey's twelve-year-old brother is a cerebral and curious young man. Unlike Dicey, he is not strong and tough, and he responded to the cruelty of his peers by becoming even more deeply involved in his studies. James finds himself in more liminal position than Dicey: he is neither the adult of the group nor is he a child. At times he rebels against Dicey childishly, like Sammy. Other times, he passively allows Dicey to make decisions and provide for them, whereas he also assesses their situations and plans their next moves more quickly and cleverly than Dicey. James bombards Dicey with his philosophical musings on mortality and morality, he listens thirstily when Stewart lectures him carefully about stealing, and he thrives at the Catholic school in Bridgeport, where the priests love learning almost as much as James. Like Dicey, James has a difficult time reconciling himself to Momma's actions, and unlike Dicey, who represses bad memories and clings stubbornly to her convictions about Momma, James speaks harshly and realistically about what Momma has done, often arousing Sammy's ire.
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