Inside Out and Back Again

by

Thanhhà Lai

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Inside Out and Back Again can help.

The Cowboy’s Wife Character Analysis

The cowboy’s wife is a bigoted woman: when and her family initially move in with the cowboy and his wife, she insists that her guests live in the basement and don’t go outside—she doesn’t want the neighbors to see Hà’s family. She remains rude and standoffish until Mother agrees to have the family baptized at the local Baptist church, at which point the cowboy’s wife begins to smile at the newcomers.

The Cowboy’s Wife Quotes in Inside Out and Back Again

The Inside Out and Back Again quotes below are all either spoken by The Cowboy’s Wife or refer to The Cowboy’s Wife. 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
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper edition of Inside Out and Back Again published in 2011.
Part 2: At Sea Quotes

Then by chance Mother learns
sponsors prefer those
whose applications say “Christians.”

Just like that
Mother amends our faith,
saying all beliefs
are pretty much the same.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), Mother, The Cowboy, The Cowboy’s Wife
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
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Inside Out and Back Again PDF

The Cowboy’s Wife Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again

The timeline below shows where the character The Cowboy’s Wife 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
...and unpacks her two outfits. But later, when she gets a look at the cowboy’s wife—whose entire body seems to be contorted in a knot—she repacks. (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...family spend all their time in the cowboy’s basement, where they don’t see the cowboy’s wife. Hà has to stand on a chair perched on a table just to see out... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
...Baptist church. When Hà and her family arrive at the church, the cowboy and his wife (who isn’t smiling) are waiting for them in the first row. On stage, a plump... (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
...she and her family get dressed and line up next to the cowboy and his wife, who’s now smiling. She smiles bigger as people kiss Hà’s cheeks. Hà’s skin grows chilly... (full context)