Is being different a good thing?


What is Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell really like? Is he actually rude, mean and unfriendly like most of the popular kids at his school or is he just try to fit in with the crowd? He has never been himself in front of the other kids so what is he actually like? Park, one of the protagonists in the story, is benevolent, welcoming, caring and the complete opposite of the popular kids.

Rainbow Rowell portrays Park as a very good person through a lot dialogue he has with his classmates and friends. “Sit down, [to Eleanor] Jesus-F#!$, just sit down” (Rowell, 9). Even though the way Park said those words wasn’t very kind, he was the only one who offered for the new kid to sit next to him, when he knew that the popular kids could hate him for it. Park was trying his best to stay out of trouble with the popular kids this year. Everybody on the bus, including the popular kids thought the new girl was very weird, considering she was wearing old ugly cloth had crazy red curls and strange accessories. This shows that Park is very caring inside, he let her sit there risking the chance of the popular kids bullying him instead. Not only is he caring, he also has other amazing traits. ‘“You [Eleanor] can borrow it,” [Park] “I don’t want to break it.” [Eleanor] “You’re not going to break it.” [Park] “I don’t want to use up the batteries,”[Eleanor] “I don’t care about the batteries.” [Park] “Really, you don’t care.” [Eleanor] “they’re just batteries” [Park]’ (56) Park lend his disks, batteries and CD player to Eleanor, someone he barely knows. He wasn’t even friends with Eleanor, but he knew that she loved the band he was listening to, so he was willing to lend his valuables to her and trust her. I don’t know about you, but I think this characterizes Park as a very benevolent person. Not  only do I think that Park has an amazing personality so does others: ‘“That’s not what I meant, though. I meant… that you’re different from the other people in the neighborhood you know?’[Eleanor] “No, I don’t know” [Park] “You.. you’re so cool.”’ (104) Eleanor could start to see the kindness in Park, in the exposition she thought he was just like the other kids, but after she got to know him better and she could see that he was Special Park might of thought that being distinctive from the others was a bad thing but people like Eleanor can see that it is good to be unique and diverse.


While I was reading this book, a lot of Park’s actions reminded me of my friend and I at my summer camp. One of my friends Cynthia came to my summer camp a day late and by the time she came, everyone else was already settling in and getting close. When she first arrived everyone thought she was a bit weird because she was very shy and she would hang out with her cousins instead of us (her dorm mates), but me and my friend Emily were still very nice to her, we tried to include her in every conversation and we kept on staying with her, making sure she doesn’t feel left out. Towards the end of the first week, Cynthia, Emily and I became best friends and she was so glad that we were friendly to her. It turns out we actually had a lot in common! This reminds me of park because he is the only one out of everyone being kind to Eleanor and I feel like towards the climax and resolution of the book, Park is going to realize that becoming friends or more with Eleanor is going to be the best decision he ever made.

 Overall I think that Park is just a really great person, he has good morals and is a great role model. The fact that Eleanor became his girlfriend can tell us that good things come through kindness. Being kindhearted to someone will always have good results. You never know what you have in common with someone until you get to know them, Through Eleanor and Park you can see that you will meet some of your best friends through being nice to the people you’ve never gave a chance to know, at first Park felt embarrassed for Eleanor and now he can’t stand being apart from her!


“Eleanor & Park.” Rainbow Rowell. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.