Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Before We Were Yours can help.

Arnelle “Arney” McCamey Character Analysis

The young woman who helps Rill and Fern run away from the Seviers to find their biological parents. Arnelle goes by Arney and dresses like a boy to hide her sex so that it will be socially acceptable for her to help her father and brothers do hard manual labor. However, Arney is abused by her family and Rill easily persuades her to run away with them and find a better life on the Mississippi River with Old Zede. Arney also helps Silas bring Rill and Fern back to their adoptive parents. Rill gives Arney credit for helping her embrace her new identity as May Weathers. Many years later, Rill receives a letter from Arney; she tells Rill that she is happily travelling the world and says that Rill saved her life.
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Arnelle “Arney” McCamey Character Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the character Arnelle “Arney” McCamey appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...takes the basket to the construction site and sits to eat with a boy named Arney, who’s helping build a studio. Rill decides that she needs to ask Arney to help... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Rill talks Arney into running away with them by saying Zede will take care of him. Arney reveals... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...in, Rill dresses them both in warm clothes and carries Fern down to the water. Arney is waiting for them and she quickly loads Rill and Fern into the boat so... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...who help them push their boat back into the water after sleeping on the shore, Arney gets mad, but Rill assures her that Queenie will make them dozens of cookies. Rill... (full context)
Chapter 24
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...Neither Zede nor Silas likes it, but Silas agrees to bring them up the river. Arney also comes along to return her family’s boat. As they row away, Rill looks back... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Identity Theme Icon
...says she never saw Silas or Zede again, although many years later she heard that Arney was married and traveling the world. May explains that she is still thankful to Arney... (full context)