Anita and Me

by

Meera Syal

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Tracey Rutter Character Analysis

Emotionally vulnerable, shy, and discreet, Tracey is the complete opposite of her rebellious older sister Anita. Tracey apparently suffers from sexual violence, likely perpetrated by her father Roberto. Perhaps because of this, Tracey, unlike her sister, feels a visceral disgust for sex and often tries to protect her sister from being touched by other people. Tracey’s concern for her sister’s well-being leads her to hate Anita’s boyfriend Sam Lowbridge. Her anger toward Sam leads her to attack him and almost drown in the Big House pond, though she ultimately survives. Later Tracy shows her vengeful side by accusing Sam and Anita of pushing her into the pond, even though it was an accident.

Tracey Rutter Quotes in Anita and Me

The Anita and Me quotes below are all either spoken by Tracey Rutter or refer to Tracey Rutter. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oberon Books edition of Anita and Me published in 1996.
Chapter 6 Quotes

I had seen how in an instant, those you called friends could suddenly become tormentors, sniffing out a weakness or a difference, turning their own fear of ostracism into a weapon with which they could beat the victim away, afraid that being an outsider, an individual even, was somehow infectious.

Related Characters: Meena Kumar (speaker), Anita Rutter, Tracey Rutter, Kevin and Karl
Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Anita and Me LitChart as a printable PDF.
Anita and Me PDF

Tracey Rutter Character Timeline in Anita and Me

The timeline below shows where the character Tracey Rutter appears in Anita and Me. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
A few minutes later, when Meena and Anita reach Anita’s house, Meena sees Tracey, Anita’s sister, a pale, weak-looking child, the complete opposite of her sister. Tracey says that... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...to use violence against other children to keep from being bullied. Meena realizes, though, that Tracey is infinitely more scared and vulnerable than she is. (full context)
Chapter 5
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
...the other to walk behind, thus creating a rivalry between friends. Meena has also seen Tracey with their new dog, whom she discovers Deirdre has called “Nigger.” When Meena first told... (full context)
Chapter 6
Friendship Theme Icon
...to go first. She swiftly takes off her underwear, throws it to her confused sister Tracey and reaches the target. (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Then, Anita forces Tracey to participate. She tells her to take off her pants. Shaking, Tracey does so. Meena... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
...clown-like manner, to make everyone laugh. However, she remains secretly disturbed about what happened to Tracey. She concludes that even one’s friends can suddenly prove cruel and hateful, creating a group... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Nanima alone with mama, who is also on holiday. She goes to Anita’s house, where Tracey answers the door, saying that Anita is at Sherrie’s farm. Noticing how much Tracey has... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Although Meena expects Anita to get angry at her, Anita merely complains about Tracey being there. When Fat Sally challenges Meena, Anita defends her, saying that she is her... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
In the meantime, Tracey’s poodle has gone wild because of the fight and succeeds in breaking free of his... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...ride Trixie, they hear the sound of a car accident and run outside to see Tracey crying near the dog’s body on the road, explaining that the car hit it and... (full context)
Chapter 11
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...enjoys watches Anita ride but notices that if Anita is growing louder and more boisterous, Tracey is turning into an increasingly shy, scared person. Instead of taking part in the girls’... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...the conversation and stays away. However, when Sherrie touches Anita’s bra to evaluate its material, Tracey suddenly appears, slapping Sherrie’s hand away and yelling that she should not touch her sister.... (full context)
Chapter 13
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...gang smoking and drinking beer. Meena ignores them but watches them discreetly, which she notices Tracey does as well. (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
...told she cannot do much exercise, Meena begins spending time on her bike. One day, Tracey appears out of nowhere, scaring her. Meena greets her and expects questions about how she... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
Meena spends two intense weeks studying for the eleven-plus. During this time, however, when Tracey is standing guard on the street, Meena is harassed by people calling her, which she... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...on the door and wakes up terrified. She goes down to the door and sees Tracey. Confident that Tracey is worthy of trust, Meena opens the door and Tracey immediately begins... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Meena gets dressed quickly and slams the door. She runs after Tracey, who enters the Big House through a hole in the fence. Worried, Meena does not... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
...Sam lying and moving on top of Anita, while Anita, on her back, remains motionless. Tracey is sobbing and the two of them wonder if Anita is dead. As Sam stands... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
In the meantime, Meena hides behind a tree and Sam easily picks Tracey up. Anita begins to insult her sister and Sam laughs at Anita, asking if she... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
...and promises not to hurt her. Meena comes out of hiding, realizing that she gave Tracey her sweatshirt, and Sam asks her where she has been. When Meena ironically notes that... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...forward and throws a rock at Sam’s face. Sam prepares to attack her back but Tracey intervenes, running toward Sam, who soon avoids her. Tracey then falls off the ledge into... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
...When mama finally hugs her, looking both angry and desperate, she says that they found Tracey but that she was worried because the girl was wearing Meena’s sweatshirt. Although Tracey was... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...her window. In emotional shock, Meena suffers from strong shaking. She feels furious, angry at Tracey, Anita, and Sam for making her life so unfairly complicated. She is also angry at... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...have tried to talk to Meena’s parents, Meena feels nervous. Meena’s father tells her that Tracey is accusing either Sam or Anita of pushing her into the pond, and he asks... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...up on her idea of seeking revenge. She tells the policemen the truth, explaining that Tracey fell into the pond by accident. The policemen are surprised by this admission, and Meena... (full context)