Muffin by Susan Cooper

February 5, 2018

I read the book “Muffin” by Susan Cooper. This is a memoir about a girl named Daisy who was terrorized by “Fat” Alice, who goes to school with Daisy. There’s no getting away from Alice. “It was a Monday morning in a blossoming spring, but Alice, Pat, and Maggie were not paying attention to daffodils. The three of them had Daisy cornered against the fence just inside the playground gate. It was a rough wooden fence, put up to replace the elegant old wrought-iron railings that had been taken away for the War Effort, to be melted down and used for guns, or ammunition, or bombs. A splinter drove deep into Daisy’s arm, where it was pushed against the wood by Maggie’s mean little finger” (Cooper 2). That’s when the old lady changed Daisy’s life, for once someone besides her mom gives Daisy strength that things will be better in this harsh time for her and her country. She realized she needs to be tough and make sure that she is no longer downcast. She knows she needs to be strong, this is the theme of the story.

Daisy doesn’t feel strong to stand up to Alice and she didn’t have any ambition. Well, she didn’t until she meet the old lady. When Alice injured her hand and arm, the old lady told the teacher that Daisy kicked Alice to defend herself. “It wasn’t the girl’s fault!” she called, in a clear, authoritative voice. “She was just defending herself! I saw the others attacking her” (Cooper 2). When Alice really makes Daisy frantic, the person she goes to is the old lady because of the way she makes Daisy feel significant. “Daisy knocked at the door. “Please,” she said when it opened, “please---” and to her horror she burst into tears. “Oh dear,” said the old lady. “This won’t do. Come in and have a cup of tea with me and Muffin” (Cooper, 3). When the old lady died in the bomb attack she knew that no one cared about her besides her mom. Daisy needed to defend herself because no one is going to help her but her. So, Alice kept bullying Daisy and she got enraged. When she was finally trying to defend herself Muffin, the deceased old lady's dog, came to save her. Daisy had something else to help her against Alice. She had to help him too, so she took Muffin home.

Everything in this book stands for bullying, Alice was so ignorant and abrupt, she felt like she needed to bully someone in the middle of World War II. This book made me remember that bullying is not okay, even if you’re just kidding or goofing around. I think that everyone should read this book and understand it because bullying is a never ending cycle that has to stop. Bringing people down is really idiotic. I feel like this book is very important to everyone who went through World War II because it shows how much it affected people. Maybe before the war Alice was a nice person, and then something bad happened to her and she became an unpleasant person. This book has such a strong theme and storyline about such a dreadful  time. Susan Cooper used the war to explain Alice and Daisy’s relationship with each other. Daisy did not do anything to Alice, but she held her head high and stayed strong.

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