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True Grit: Many Faces of Tom Chaney

Uploaded by sk8ta_posa on Oct 21, 2001

In the novel True Grit by Charles Portis, there is a character by the name of Thomas Cheney. Tom is a character with many traits, almost all negative. Amongst them, the three best ways to describe the character Tom Chaney are as a heartless, miserable and hypocritical man.

First off, he is a heartless man because he does not have to think twice about pushing Mattie into the pit full of snakes. How cruel do you have to be, to place harm on a young innocent girl? He shows no mercy when it comes to doing whatever it is he needs to do to escape as a free man. For Example, in the book, there is an intense scene where Mattie thinks that she has defeated Chaney, but he comes back and pushes her into a pit full off rattlesnakes when she is not alert. Tom says, “I warrant there will be another one before spring! A little spindly one” (Portis 284)! He shows no remorse watching Mattie struggle to get away from the venomous snakes; he even has the nerve to make a joke about it! This clearly showing that he is a heartless, cold-blooded man with no feeling towards others including women and children is sickening.

Secondly, he is a very miserable man, shown in many ways. There are many instances where he is shown depressed. He thinks that all of the other bandits are just using him. For instance, on top of the mountain at the secret hideout, they leave him to watch over Mattie. He gets so depressed and beats himself up over the fact that they just ditched him with all of the stolen money. Cheney says, “I fear he has no idea of paying me. I believe he has left me, knowing I am sure to be caught when I leave on foot” (Carter 265). This quote is a perfect example of ho he is so down on himself. Tom thinks they left him to be trapped, and just took advantage of him. Chaney has obviously been used and is feeling like a big loser. This just goes to show you how miserable Thomas Chaney really is.

Thirdly, he is hypocritical because after The Ross family accepts him into their family, he turns on them and kills Frank, Mattie’s father. That is clearly hypocritical, Tom came in a poor broken man without anywhere to go and...

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Uploaded by:   sk8ta_posa

Date:   10/21/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (616 words)

Views:   1856

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