Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… with unreliable parents. Rachel's parents divorced when she was young, and while they still love her, her father's distant and her mother – for understandable reasons – is emotionally distraught.

Living... on borrowed time. After being diagnosed with leukemia, Rachel's become the town charity case, with total strangers sending their kids over to cheer her up. Rachel, however, is having none of that. As she tells classmate Greg Gaines, "Look, I don't want you hanging out with me. I don't need your stupid pity. It's fine."

Profession… high school student. Right now, Rachel's only cares should be grades and getting into college, but instead she has to worry about whether she'll even make it through the year.

Interests… art, books, and (as of recently) movies. After discovering that Greg and his friend – his "co-worker" – Earl make movies for fun, Rachel has been slowly working her way through their catalog, which contains such gems as "A Sockwork Orange" and "Senior Citizen Cane." Greg is convinced the movies are abominable, but Rachel is more forgiving: "I'm pretty sure they don't suck."

Relationship Status… single. Touching romances with terminally ill teenagers are not – as Greg points out – usually a part of real life.

Challenge… staying alive. Leukemia is a notoriously difficult cancer to defeat, and rounds of exhaustive chemotherapy have yet to yield many results.

Personality… mature, kind, and pragmatic. Despite the undeniably awful turn her life has taken, Rachel handles herself with remarkable grace. Though they haven't known each other for very long, Rachel is a good friend to Greg, helping him with college applications and allaying his insecurities despite her own, much more pressing problems.


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