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As a child, Leroy is slow and chubby, physical characteristics that also represent his malleable personality. He relies on Molly for all of his behavioral cues, because she is as boyish as the rest of the boys in town. When Carrie forces Molly to stay inside and learn domestic chores, Leroy volunteers to learn them as well. He can’t maintain his resolve, however, and Carrie bullies him into leaving by telling him the rest of the neighborhood will think he’s queer if he stays in the house. This scene highlights Leroy’s major weakness, which significantly separates him from Molly: he fears what others will think of him, especially in matters of sexuality. As an adolescent, Leroy confides to Molly that he’s had a gay experience. However, even as he considers the possibility that he is gay, he clings to the dictums of society. His rabid fear of social deviance shines through when he says, “I may be queer but I ain’t kissing no man.” Ultimately, Leroy is a slave to what others think. Without Molly’s constant reassurance and influence, he falls into the modes of behavior prescribed by the indigent greasers and rednecks who make up his society, where intelligence is suspiciously regarded and homosexuality is punished with violence. Not surprisingly, when Leroy marries and has children, he remains unfulfilled, having made everyone happy but himself.
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