Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a novel that discusses several different topics. The story is about two women who meet in a nursing home. They strike up a friendship and the older woman tells the story of her family, particularly the lives of two other women, Ruth and Idgie.
Whistle Stop is the name of a very small town in rural Alabama on one of the main trunks of several railroads. Ruth and Idgie’s story takes place in the early 1900’s in and around the cafe that they own. Using flashbacks, Flagg re-creates these women’s lives and experiences from the flapper era of the 1920’s to the women’s movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Big George and his mother Sipsey are the African Americans who have the responsibility of taking care of Idgie’s family. They are the household help that are part of the family. As the story continues readers learn about Big George’s family and their relation with Ruth’s son Buddy, named after a favorite brother of Idgie who was killed in a train accident. Young Buddy is called Stump because he lost one arm in another train accident.
One of the earmarks of the novel is the rural slang used to make the story more credible, the appearance of the Ku Klux Klan at various times to remind readers of the culture of racism of the South at that time, and the predominance of the theme that all people have a responsibility to care for all who are in need. The train brings homeless men to the cafe for a meal—the black men are given food out the back door, the white men are fed inside the cafe at the table.
Love of family is the thread that appears throughout the novel. Love of birth family members, love of women for each other, love of people who are of different races, love of all, regardless of race or gender, who make up a family. The novel argues that family is based on love, not biology. Idgie is female, yet wears men’s clothing, drinks liquor “like a man,” tells tall stories, and loves Ruth and her baby with all her soul. As a result Idgie is loved, protected, and defended by all who know her.
Character Sketch On Idgie Threadgoode From "Fried Green Tomatoes"
Character Sketch - Idgie Threadgoode
The Key to understanding Idgie Threadgoode is that she is an individual who wants to be different from the rest of the world.
First off, Idgie Threadgoode is a Tomboy. She was born to be Buddy's (Her older Brother's) pet, and from then on she never took on to be the girlie type. Idgie always knew she wasn't like the rest of the girls, and she didn't want to be either. Idgie almost spoiled her older sister's wedding when she wouldn't put on a dress. Finally, Idgie wore the dress and was made fun of by her siblings because it didn't suit her. So Idgie ended up going to the wedding in a suit, dressed as a boy. Idgie's best friend was her brother, Buddy. She would hang around him, instead of play with the other girls her age. Idgie didn't want to be just another girl in a dress, she wanted to be different and do things her own way. Idgie wanted to run about and scrape her knees, get black eyes, and get dirty, and that's just what she did. Not even her own Momma could control her. Idgie was definitely the wild child in the book "Fried Green Tomatoes". When Buddy died, Idgie ran off and didn't let anyone in her family come near her. She would come home only time after time to see how her family was doing, but she spent most of her life independently, away from civilization. Idgie didn't want to mourn with the rest of her family over Buddy, she wanted to do things in her own way. That was the only way there was for her. Idgie grew up to be even more like one of the boys. She would spend her time down by the river at the country club, playing poker with the boys and drinking. She had fun in her own ways and never worried what other people might have thought of her actions. When Idgie took in her best friend, Ruth, and Ruth had a baby boy named Stump, Idgie took on the role of a father like figure for Stump since he no longer had one. Idgie protected Ruth and provided for her and Stump. Idgie even got her friend Eva, to make a man out of Stump when Stump confessed he was afraid to have sexual relations with a girl, for fear he would be made fun of. In those days it would have been unheard of for a woman to act as Idgie Threadgoode did, but Idgie clearly did not care how unfit she was for the world. She was born a Tomboy, she was made to stand out and to do her own thing.
Idgie was just as much a Tomboy as she was a Daredevil. Idgie Threadgoode took risks and had adventures that most people wouldn't have dreamed of doing. Again, this shows Idgie's outstanding character, apart from the rest of the characters in the book. Idgie always strayed off from the path that most people took. She created her own adventures and lived her life how she saw fit. Through the whole book, railroad Bill was described as a black man who threw canned goods off the railway for Hobos. There was rewards offered for the leadings to Railroad Bill and yet no one could seem to catch him. He was such a mystery for the people of...
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