Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
STUDY GUIDE - THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
They are just blue jeans, but because they seem to fit all four girls so well and make all four of them look so great, they become magical objects for all four. They represent the Sisterhood and they provide self-confidence when the girls most need. They are also a witness to the coming of age each girl experiences. As such, they are the purveyors of memory and will be the catalyst that keeps them all together now and in the future.
As the narrator and the purchaser of the Pants, she is the one who gets the journey started for all four of them. However, she is also the one with the least self-confidence. She is more deeply wounded by her father moving away to South Carolina and finding a new family than she will allow herself to admit. She desperately needs to have him to herself, but won’t allow herself to realize that she’s very angry at him. She also is very sensitive about her Puerto Rican body type and coloring, because it seems to her that at the same time it makes her noticed immediately, it also makes her invisible within this new family. In the end, she learns that life is all about compromise and that she has to let go of her anger in order to become visible again and a true member of the family.
She is somewhat shy around boys and so cannot act on her crush on Tucker Rowe. She feels like a built-in baby-sitter for her parents’ new family of Nicky and Catherine. She hates it that she is the only one of the group who has to stay home and work in a loser place like Wallman’s. She decides to make a “suckumentary” about how bad her life is when she is involuntarily thrust into Bailey Graffman’s life. Fortunately for her, this is one of the best things that could ever have happened to her, because Bailey’s wisdom shows her that the people she thought were losers are really very interesting and the small pleasures in life are the ones that last.
Bridget, also known as Bee, is the most vibrant one of the group. She is pretty, flirtatious, athletically talented, and the one who falls the farthest when she makes the mistake of pursuing a boy who is too old for her. She allows herself to choose a relationship, while good and sweet in its own way, is much more intimate than she’s ready to handle. As a result, she finds herself unable to cope with the devastating consequences until Lena arrives and shows her that even inside of her mistakes there are people there to catch you when you fall.
An extremely beautiful girl, Lena is conscious of her beauty only in that it attracts untrustworthy boys who don’t see what’s beneath the beauty. As a result, she finds it hard to give her heart even when something good, like Kostos, faces her. So, she must learn, with the help of her sister, Effie, that she has to be brave enough to take a chance in love. She can’t be afraid of expressing who she is, because she fears rejection. As a result, Lena does go to Kostos and repairs what she had broken so that the future offers some hope between them and Lena gains the self-confidence she had been lacking.
She is a twelve year old girl who is dying of leukemia. Because no treatment works for her anymore, her parents have decided to give her a few months to just be a kid. She meets Tibby when she collapses in Wallman’s Pharmacy and uses her extraordinary ability to see the truth about people and life to help Tibby learn some important things about herself. She sees interest and value in people whom others reject. She provides comfort when one would thinks she needs it more herself. She understands the small pleasures. And even though she is afraid of time, because she has so little of it left, she freely gives it to others who need her. She is a very special little girl.
PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS
The story is narrated by Carmen in the Prologue and the Epilogue. As the narrator in these chapters, she introduces and summarizes the plot, the idea of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and how they all learned something very valuable about life and friendship.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version