Riding the Bus with My Sister

Riding the Bus with My Sister

by

Rachel Simon

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Claude Character Analysis

Claude is a cheery 40-something bus driver, the very first driver Rachel meets at the beginning of her journey, and the subject of her initial Philadelphia Inquirer article. Beth buys him coffee before riding his bus in the mornings, and he reimburses her. But later in the year, he gets angry with Beth over her refusal to get a job. She starts an argument between Claude and Cliff, then stops riding with Claude. This shows how Beth’s stubbornness takes a serious toll on her relationships.

Claude Quotes in Riding the Bus with My Sister

The Riding the Bus with My Sister quotes below are all either spoken by Claude or refer to Claude. 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:
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grand Central Publishing edition of Riding the Bus with My Sister published in 2013.
18. July: The Optimist Quotes

Beth has sought out mentors in places where others might not look, and, moreover, taken the time, and endured the pain, to weed out those drivers who are decent and kind and reflective from those who are indifferent or hostile. The ones I’m meeting are, I realize as I quickly do the math, only about a sixth of the whole bus company. That took Beth a huge amount of trial and error—and, yes, determination. I shake my head, amazed at how much I’d somehow missed, and then, with a surge of optimism, wonder if one out of six people in any profession or community would also be exceptionally thoughtful. How could I really know? Have I ever spent this much time exploring the worldviews of my colleagues at school or the bookstore? Do I have a clue about whether my neighbors feel committed to the Golden Rule?

Related Characters: Rachel Simon (speaker), Beth , Bailey, Claude, Tim, Jacob, Estella, Rodolpho, Rick
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
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Claude Character Timeline in Riding the Bus with My Sister

The timeline below shows where the character Claude appears in Riding the Bus with My Sister. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. January: The Journey
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Community vs. Individualism Theme Icon
...bus with her portable radio and city bus pass, which is numbered 000001. The driver, Claude, gives Beth $1 for the coffee, and then she sits down across the aisle from... (full context)
28. October: The Hunk
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Growth, Change, and Morality Theme Icon
The bus drivers have also started to run out of patience—especially Claude, who has started telling Beth that she ought to get a job. Beth talked about... (full context)