We are a family
“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful.” That’s exactly what the motto of the Malone family is. The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis is about a family written during The Great Depression. Deza, the main character, goes out on an adventure to find her father in the midst of The Great Depression full of hardships and challenges. Deza’s mother, Peg, is a big part of helping Deza find her father as well. Deza’s father, Roscoe, leaves his family in Gary, Indiana and moves to Flint, Michigan in order to find a job. One lesson the book suggests is to never lose hope.
From the very beginning, it is evident that the Malones struggle financially. During the Great Depression, not many families could spend money as they wished. Unfortunately, this was the same for the Malone family. Because of this financial issue, the Malones learn that it is best to never lose hope. For example, the Malones had to save money for the smallest items. “Mother must’ve been putting pennies aside for a long time to buy two such beautiful little cakes” (8). This quote was mentioned by Deza on her birthday. Every year the person with the birthday gets a cake. However, the Great Depression has caused the Malone family to buy little cupcakes for the person with the birthday. “Wow, Ma these are store-bought” (8)! Jimmy mentions this when he sees the cakes in Deza’s birthday. These two quotes prove that the Malones are thankful for what they have. Another situation where the theme of the is present is when Jimmy brings a pie home. The Malones mostly ate the same thing every day. One day, Jimmie unexpectedly brought home a pie for his family. “No way the Malones could afford such a pie” (15). This was the reaction of Peg, his mother when she saw the pie. From these quotes, it is evident that the Great Depression had hit the Malones hard. Despite all of this, the family never lost hope.
Next, it is evident that one of the themes in the book is to never lose hope. Many families were forced to find a new job, sometimes even in a different state. Roscoe had no option but to move to Flint, Michigan from Gary, Indiana. This is around 243 miles apart. Of course, traveling costed big bucks. “I’ll find work back in Flint” (127). Roscoe says this to Peg moments before he leaves. Obviously, the rest of the family didn’t want him to leave. The family had trust in Roscoe to go and find a job. They assumed nothing would happen to him. “Then I can get a job paying cash. Please, give me a chance” (132). This line shows that Roscoe wants the rest of the family to have faith in him. After a fair amount of arguing, Peg lets Roscoe leave. Some people may argue that the theme of this book is to work hard. This theme would not be true because it was hard to find jobs, especially for colored people like Roscoe. The author mentions, “there are few jobs, especially for black men like Mr. Malone.” This quote from the author proves that it was harder to find a job for Roscoe. If Roscoe is unable to find a job, then he is unable to work hard.
Lastly, the end of the book shows the theme which is to never give up. This part of the book really shows the theme because this is when the Malones achieved their goals. Throughout the book, the Malones had one big goal. That goal was to find Roscoe after he mysteriously disappeared from Flint, Michigan. After months of searching, they finally found him. “You found me. How? I thought I’d never see you again” (290). This quote was one of the first things Roscoe had said to Peg when she found him in a poorhouse. This proves that finding Roscoe was near impossible because he mentioned that he thought he would never be found. Roscoe adds, “I knew you’d never give up on me, Peg” (290). This quote helps the reader understand that Roscoe was depending on Deza and Peg to find him. Soon after, Peg replied with, “never, Roscoe Malone, never” (290). This reply implies that Peg wouldn’t have given up on finding her husband. This conversation hints that neither Roscoe or Peg gave up on each other. If Peg or Deza would’ve given up, they might have never seen each other again.
From the beginning to the end of the story, The Miss Mighty Malone, Curtis indirectly expresses that it is best to never lose hope. Even though The Great Depression had caused Peg and Roscoe to lose their jobs, they never showed that they were running out of money. Despite the fact that Roscoe was leaving their state, Peg trusted him enough to let him go. She had faith that one day he would come back home, safe. Because Deza and Peg never lost hope in finding Roscoe, they were eventually able to find him. They tried their absolute best to locate him and were finally successful. All things considered, it is best to never lose hope.