when T.J. mocks the flute that Jeremy gives Stacey for Christmas, T.J. tells Jeremy to "stuff it". Stacey then places the flute in his chest of treasures possessions. what does Stacey's behavior show readers he's learned since the incident with the coat Uncle hammer gave him? What does Stacey's treatment of the flute tell readers about his feelings for Jeremy? About his feelings for T.J.? About the future of Stacey and Jeremy's friendship?
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Jeremy doesn't like or share his family's racist beliefs, and tries to be friends with Stacey and the others. For Christmas, Jeremy tries to be nice to Stacey and gives him a flute and Mama a bag of nuts. Stacy covets his flute because he understands Jeremy. Stacy, like Jeremy, even sees beyond what his family sees. Stacy sees a kindred spirit in the little blond boy. TJ has been nothing but trouble for Stacy. Where TJ uses and abuses Stacy, Jeremy tries to forge a real friendship. I think in a better world Stacy and Jeremy would be good friends but in this world they simply have to be apart.
Stacey learned that T.J. can't be trusted, and learned that Jeremy has a very kind heart. Unlike T.J., who shuns the weak and makes fun of them, Stacey learned to accept Jeremy, because he insists accompanying them every day, even though he gets in trouble for that. Stacey learned that T.J. is just teasing him, just like Uncle Hammer's coat. Stacey put the wooden flute in his treasured possessions, because it reminds him of their friendship.