Don’t Call Me Ishmael

by

Michael Gerard Bauer

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Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto Character Analysis

Razza is the Year Nine class clown and, according to Ishmael, an obvious choice for the debating team. He wants to be either a politician or a standup comedian when he grows up, so it makes sense to Ishmael that Razza would join for the speaking practice. It soon becomes obvious, though, that Razza joined debating because of the opportunities it would give him to meet girls from other schools. Razza seldom, if ever, takes anything seriously. He constantly makes jokes and puns that, while funny, annoy Scobie and Ishmael in particular. Razza is also not the best debater, as he tends to rely on his perceived charm with mixed results. But as Ishmael gets to know Razza better, he also comes to realize that Razza is a loyal friend to both him and Bill Kingsley. Razza is an important cheerleader for Ishmael as Ishmael grapples with his crush on Kelly, though Razza’s support isn’t always useful—his teasing notes about Ishmael’s crush are part of what causes Ishmael to faint during a debate. While Razza insists that Barry’s bullying (of which he’s also been a victim) shouldn’t bother anyone since Barry is a “wanker,” he also agrees with Ishmael that it’s worth any possible pain or humiliation to defend Bill. But Razza never actually takes on Barry to defend Bill—instead, Ishmael realizes that Razza’s real power is in his friendship and his loyalty. Despite not liking “space stuff,” when Razza hears that Bill is planning to see the third installment of a sci-fi trilogy the week after school lets out, Razza insists not just on accompanying Bill to the theater, but on planning a marathon to watch the first two movies in the series. He makes Bill laugh and feel supported, and Ishmael greatly admires Razza’s kindness.

Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto Quotes in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The Don’t Call Me Ishmael quotes below are all either spoken by Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto or refer to Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto. 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:
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Greenwillow Books edition of Don’t Call Me Ishmael published in 2007.
Chapter 25 Quotes

Even though we had improved from last time, the difference again was Scobie. It was like having Michael Phelps swimming the final leg for you in the under-seven floaties relay. As long as we could keep the opposition vaguely in sight, we knew that Scobie would reel them in and eat them up.

Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

“Well, I guess you could say that part of it’s about how power can be used in a good way or a bad way, and you could tie that to things like the power that big companies or politicians or dictators have today, I suppose. And Harry himself faces a lot of problems that I reckon would be relevant to a lot of people—you know, like coping with death and trying to fit in when you’re different…and bullying.”

Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

“Oh, and Orazio…I know we’re not headed for Mount Doom or anything, but we are on a bit of a quest, aren’t we? Maybe we’re even some sort of a fellowship.”

Razza sprawled back in his seat and shook his head slowly from side to side as if nothing made sense to him anymore. Finally he stood up, leaned over the table, and placed his hand on Bill’s shoulder.

I held my breath. I had a terrible feeling that Orazio Zorzotto’s razor-sharp wit was about to slice Bill Kingsley in two.

Razza fixed his eyes on the large form before him. “I will follow you,” he said solemnly, “my brother…my captain…my…Kingsley.”

Related Characters: Bill Kingsley (speaker), Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto (speaker), Ishmael Leseur, Ignatius Prindabel
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

Razza nudged me in the ribs and jerked his head toward Bill Kingsley, who was gazing into space beside him. I knew what Razza was getting at. Bill looked different somehow. It must have been the smile on his face.

Related Characters: Ishmael Leseur (speaker), Bill Kingsley, Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 46 Quotes

I heard a strange noise come from deep within Bill Kingsley. It took me a moment to realize that he was laughing.

Razza looked back at me, flashed that deadly smile, and gave me the thumbs-up.

They were right all along. The Razzman really did work in mysterious ways.

Related Characters: Ishmael Leseur (speaker), Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto, Bill Kingsley
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 50 Quotes

But do you want to know the really weird thing? Well, I’ll tell you. The really weird thing was that as I lay there with only the raspy sound of my breathing filling my ears and with the spongy grass of St. Daniel’s playing fields buoying me up, I could have sworn that I was floating and bobbing on the surface of a vast green ocean. Remind you of anyone?

Go on—call me Ishmael if you like.

After all, as the Big Z would say, I’m da man!

Related Symbols: Moby-Dick
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:
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Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto Character Timeline in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The timeline below shows where the character Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto appears in Don’t Call Me Ishmael. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Next, Orazio ZorzottoRazza—walks in, making bad jokes as usual. His presence makes sense: he wants to be a... (full context)
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Scobie glares at Razza and announces that they’ve all been selected for the Year Nine debating team. Razza leaps... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Scobie says the next meeting will be Tuesday (Razza tells Bill to put it in his commander’s log) and then says that debating is... (full context)
Chapter 22
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...informative. Instead, it just humiliates Ishmael further. He first notices Kelly Faulkner in the morning—and Razza notices Ishmael noticing Kelly. At lunch, as Razza and Ishmael wait for Scobie to come... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael insists he doesn’t have to do this, but Razza grabs Ishmael’s shirt and curses Cupid. Then, Razza lists the four steps and says that... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Just then, Scobie comes out of the classroom. Razza informs Scobie that Ishmael didn’t learn anything in the last session and asks what’s gotten... (full context)
Chapter 23
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...for the rest of the workshop. If he even happens to look in Kelly’s direction, Razza mimes being shot in the chest with an arrow. In bed that night, Ishmael decides... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...is just a place where Kelly isn’t. Finally, flopping onto his bed, Ishmael wonders if Razza is right. Ishmael decides to use the four steps of effective rebuttal to strike down... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
One, Razza says Ishmael is in love with Kelly. Two, Ishmael insists this is false—but then he... (full context)
Chapter 24
Friendship Theme Icon
...team. Scobie tries to organize an argument, Ignatius offers useless information, Bill sits still, and Razza insists the topic is terrible. Instead, Razza talks about “hot chicks,” and teases everyone else. (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael offers a sample script of their first meeting. Razza consistently insists they got “the crap side,” while Ignatius offers useless political facts. When asked... (full context)
Chapter 25
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...Scobie pulls the team together in time for the first debate. Ignatius speaks first, then Razza, then Scobie—and somehow, they win. Ignatius is a lifeless speaker, while Razza relies on his... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...that it’s a good point, or that everyone can have their own opinion. Even though Razza is rude to one of the girls on the opposing team and Bill just reads... (full context)
Chapter 27
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...is busy playing the triangle in the band, the team for the night is Bill, Razza, and Scobie, with Ishmael as timekeeper. But Scobie says that Bill has laryngitis and Ishmael... (full context)
Chapter 28
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael takes his seat between Scobie and Razza and pulls out some blank index cards. Scobie passes over Bill’s index cards with the... (full context)
Chapter 29
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
The chair calls Kelly to speak first. Razza whispers, “Twang!” in Ishmael’s ear, but Ishmael ignores him. He has to concentrate—he must analyze... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...down to applause. Scobie pushes index cards with his unreadable notes on them to Ishmael. Razza passes Ishmael a card. It reads, “Your girlfriend’s got hot legs!” Ishmael knows he’s dead... (full context)
Chapter 30
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...“the private parts of public figures should be made public.” Ishmael can’t figure out why Razza looks like he’s dying and the girls on the other team are choking on water.... (full context)
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...figures had privacy. Then, he turns to his cards—which are all written by Scobie and Razza. Bill’s cards, with the prepared speech, are on the floor under Ishmael’s chair. (full context)
Chapter 31
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...toward Kelly Faulkner. He comes to in another room, dizzy and surrounded by concerned people. Razza’s mom promises to explain things to Mom and Dad, so when Ishmael gets home, he... (full context)
Chapter 32
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
The next day, during the lunchtime debating meeting, Ishmael wearily tries to explain to Razza about Prue’s peg people. Scobie insists they should get on with the debrief. (There’s nothing... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Ishmael is confused by what Razza means. Scobie, Bill, and Ignatius stare and realize that Ishmael doesn’t know what happened. Ishmael... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Power of Language Theme Icon
Razza continues to dance around and make jokes. Even Ignatius and Bill laugh. Ishmael knows he... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Once Bill, Ignatius, and Razza get Scobie’s joke, they laugh uproariously (and Bill shoots strawberry milk out his nose). Ignatius,... (full context)
Chapter 34
Friendship Theme Icon
...first day after the September holidays, Ishmael has to break the bad news to Ignatius, Razza, and Bill: according to Miss Tarango, Scobie has gone somewhere with his father and won’t... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Ignatius says they’ll “be drowning in [their] own offal.” Razza says they should at least pretend like they can win, but Ignatius argues that they... (full context)
Chapter 35
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...standing up to evil and coping with bullying. Ishmael frantically writes everything down and encourages Razza and Ignatius to keep asking Bill questions. (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...order. Ignatius says that this isn’t his topic. He thinks Ishmael should speak first, then Razza, and then Bill. Razza insists that Bill can’t rebut, but Ishmael agrees with Ignatius: he... (full context)
Chapter 36
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael looks down at his cards. Razza scribbled on it that Ishmael is “da man” and asks if Elvis is in his... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...he continues as though nothing happened. Bill continues past the three-minute and four-minute bells until Razza sneezes for him to stop. Bill stops, concludes his argument, and sits down. The room... (full context)
Chapter 39
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael still feels terrible a week later, when Razza asks if Ishmael will go with him to the debating finals (Ignatius and Bill are... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Razza asks if Ishmael wants to trash Barry’s things and then notes that the Zorzottos have... (full context)
Chapter 40
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Ishmael spends the night of the debating final trying to contain Razza (who gets very enthusiastic when the Preston blond girl speaks). Preston wins. After their victory,... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Just as Kelly starts to excuse herself, she stops and points behind Ishmael to where Razza is leaping around and making faces at Ishmael. She asks if Ishmael knows him, and... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
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Ishmael tells Kelly that Razza is actually a superhero, but he has to pretend to be an “idiot” to hide... (full context)
Chapter 41
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As Razza and Ishmael wait for Razza’s mom, Razza insists that because Ishmael “rescued” Marty from Barry,... (full context)
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That night, Ishmael decides that no matter what Razza says, Kelly will stay in his daydreams. And second, Ishmael decides it’s time to read... (full context)
Chapter 43
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When class is over, Ishmael stays in his desk. Razza hangs back, and Ishmael tells him that Barry ruined Bill’s speech. Ishmael insists it won’t... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...then, Barry runs back into the classroom to fetch a football and notices Ishmael and Razza. He taunts the “girls” and asks if Razza is still wetting the bed. Then, Barry... (full context)
Chapter 45
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...there’s nothing Barry can do to stop him. Ishmael meets Barry’s eyes as Ignatius, then Razza, and then Bill read their readings. Barry mouths for Ishmael not to do it, but... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...was using pauses for dramatic effect. She looks at Ishmael suspiciously but tells him and Razza to have a great holiday. Miss Tarango heads into the crowd. (full context)
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The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ignatius tells Ishmael, Razza, and Bill goodbye and leaves too. Then, Razza turns to Bill and asks what he’s... (full context)
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
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Finally, Bill asks if Razza doesn’t hate “space stuff.” Acting stunned, Razza says he loves the whole franchise. When Bill... (full context)
Chapter 47
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Ishmael’s smile is huge as he watches Razza and Bill walk away. But it disappears when Barry appears behind him. Barry is clearly... (full context)
Chapter 50
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...someone. He asks the reader to call him Ishmael if they want; after all, as Razza would say, Ishmael is “da man.” (full context)