Rusty James
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Rusty James

Rumble Fish

fans 2
rating 9.0/10 (3 users)
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About Him

Grew Up... mostly by himself. With a mentally ill mother, an alcoholic father, and a drifter brother, Rusty grew up in a tumultuous household, and things only got worse after his mother ran away. His father's oddly apologetic about it, telling Rusty that neither she nor his brother are crazy, but Rusty's not sure if he believes him.

Living… in Tulsa, OK, where he's poor, unhappy, and going through puberty.

Profession… aspiring hoodlum. His brother, Motorcycle Boy, was a famous gang leader, and Rusty aspires to follow in his footsteps. But the gang life doesn't come naturally to Rusty, and he's thrown into even more doubt when his brother returns to Tulsa, not to take up his old position but to make a clean break with the past.

Interests... girls, drinking, and partying. So many of Rusty’s actions stem from his simple desire to have a good time, combined with a desire to be part of something bigger than himself. However, his partying also jeopardizes his schoolwork, his relationships, and his efforts to reconnect with Motorcycle Boy, whom Rusty strives to emulate.

Relationship Status... dating Patty. Like Rusty, Patty romanticizes gang culture, but there are signs it might be too much for her to handle. Rusty himself doesn't help, constantly getting in fights and flirting with other girls.  

Challenge… finding some semblance of stability. In some ways, Rusty is going through the typical teenage motions of rebellion, testing-the-waters, and just trying to be cool. But at some point, the stakes got out of control. With his parents and brother effectively missing, Rusty’s turned to gang life to give him the family he never had. But Rusty's has "a bad habit of getting attached to people," and his loyalty is constantly getting him hurt or in trouble.

Personality… outwardly ruthless, but more vulnerable than he lets on. Like many fourteen-year-olds, Rusty feels like an outsider, a status that he alternately romanticizes and resents. While he may aspire to be admired and respected as his brother once was, Rusty mainly wants a sense of place. But no matter how many people surround him, Rusty can't help always feeling alone: “I was in a glass bubble," he says, "and everyone else was outside it, and I'd be alone like that for the rest of my life.”

Rusty James's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #3790 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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