Inside Out and Back Again

by

Thanhhà Lai

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Pink Boy Character Analysis

The antagonist of the novel, Pink Boy is a boy in ’s class. She never learns his real name. He has pink skin and white hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows, and he’s cruel to Hà from the moment Hà arrives. He shouts things like “ha, ha, ha” and “Boo-da” at her, and at one point he calls her “pancake face.” He also pulls her hair and pokes her cheeks, and he and his friends regularly follow Hà home after school, shouting taunts at her. When Hà finally tells an adult what’s going on, Pink Boy is forced to apologize during a meeting with the principal—but this only makes him hate Hà even more. Pink Boy’s cruelty makes Hà so mad that she asks Brother Vū to teach her to fly-kick so she can hurt him. But when Hà learns that Pink Boy plans to have an older, burly cousin beat her up, she finally gets her chance to kick him and realizes that it actually doesn’t make her feel good to hurt or scare him. After Brother Vū rescues Hà on his motorcycle (and gives Pink Boy’s cousin a ride), Pink Boy no longer torments Hà.

Pink Boy Quotes in Inside Out and Back Again

The Inside Out and Back Again quotes below are all either spoken by Pink Boy or refer to Pink Boy. 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:
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
).
Part 3: Alabama Quotes

I shout, I’m so mad.
I shouldn’t have to run away.

Tears come.

Brother Vū
has always been afraid
of my tears.
I’ll teach you defense.

How will that help me?

He smiles huge,
so certain of himself.
You’ll see.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), Brother Vū/Vu Lee (speaker), Pink Boy
Page Number: 152-53
Explanation and Analysis:

I thought I would love
seeing him in pain.

But
he looks
more defeated than weak,
more helpless than scared,
like a caged puppy.

He’s getting up.

If I were to kick him,
it must be
now.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), Pink Boy, Brother Vū/Vu Lee
Page Number: 225-27
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Inside Out and Back Again LitChart as a printable PDF.
Inside Out and Back Again PDF

Pink Boy Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again

The timeline below shows where the character Pink Boy appears in Inside Out and Back Again. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3: Alabama
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...dark hair on shiny skin. A few have braids on chocolate-colored skin, and there’s a pink boy with white hair. Hà is the only kid with straight black hair on olive-colored skin. (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...her classmates outside. All the kids of all colors surround Hà, shouting and pushing. The pink boy with white hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes pulls Hà’s arm hair and laughs. Hà’s hair does... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Laugh Back. The pink boy and two of his loud friends follow Hà home. To help her walk faster (she... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Smart Again. Pink Boy is at the board, struggling to multiply 18 by 42. Hà goes to the board... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...looks like a pioneer woman’s skirt. SSsì-Ti-Vân is wearing a beard—apparently today is “pretend day.” Pink Boy keeps asking Hà what she is. After school, Pink Boy shouts that Hà should be... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...to school with Hà, which just makes Hà nervous. They enter the principal’s office, where Pink Boy is sitting with his mother. After the adults speak angrily for a bit, Pink Boy... (full context)
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...“Boo-Da.” Students continue to say “Boo-Da” all day. When the final bell rings, Hà runs. Pink Boy and his friends follow, shouting “Boo-Da” at her. When Hà takes a wrong turn and... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...learned from the boys, like “Bully,” “Coward,” and “Pink Snot Face.” When Hà turns around, Pink Boy is very close, and his face is red. She shouts, “Du Du Face” at him.... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Rumor. On Friday, rumors fly: apparently, Pink Boy is getting his cousin, a sixth-grade girl who’s extremely muscular, to beat Hà up on... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...where Brother Khôi told her to wait, but Brother Khôi isn’t there. Suddenly, Hà sees Pink Boy racing around the corner toward her. (full context)
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
A Shift. Pink Boy runs toward Hà, and Hà squats so she’s ready. Pink Boy puts his fist out... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
WOW! Hà hears a roar, and both she and Pink Boy turn toward the sound. A huge motorcycle pulls up and stops. When the rider takes... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
...party invitations. Girls hope that Vu Lee will give them rides—he gave a ride to Pink Boy ’s muscular cousin, who smiles and waves at Hà these days. Fortunately, Pink Boy avoids... (full context)