Beasts of the Southern Wild
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in the Bathtub, a southern Lousiana town cut off from the mainland by a levee. Hushpuppy calls it “the prettiest place on Earth,” and she enjoys her time there with her sick dad, Wink.

Profession… caretaker to her father. Unfortunately, he has just fallen ill just before a giant storm is expected to roll into town. It’s a big responsibility for a six-year-old, but she loves him too much to do anything but the right thing. He taught her well.

Interests… animals. Hushpuppy cares for pigs and fish that live in the Bathtub. She listens to what they have to say but only understands them some of the time: “Most of the time they probably saying ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘I gotta poop.’ But sometimes they be talking in codes.”

Challenge… surviving the storm, helping her sick dad get better, and finding her mom. It’s a lot for a little kid to handle, but Hushpuppy has learned from Wink how to fend for herself and thrive in a scary world. No one else her age could deal with the prehistoric monsters that are freed when the ice caps melt. But no one else in the world is quite like Hushpuppy.

Personality… playful and brave with a ferocity of a much older woman. Faced with one nightmare scenario after the next, Hushpuppy learns to survive by being courageous, fearless, and incredibly caring because she has no other choice. She says that scientists generations from now will remember her: “They’re gonna know once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bayou.”


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