LaJoe’s husband, to whom she is still married after seventeen years, only visits his family sporadically. Both LaJoe and her children, especially Lafeyette and Pharoah, feel resentful toward Paul for choosing drugs over his family. Paul does not actively participate in family life and has stolen and sold some of the family’s belongings to buy drugs. Paul understands his family’s grievances and often adopts an attitude of self-pity and despondency, as he blames himself for his family’s situation but does not believe himself capable of overcoming his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Nevertheless, he does occasionally defend his children and, through his presence, constitutes a rare example of fatherhood in the neighborhood, as many children at Horner are forced to grow up without a father.
Paul Rivers Quotes in There Are No Children Here
The There Are No Children Here quotes below are all either spoken by Paul Rivers or refer to Paul Rivers. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of There Are No Children Here published in 1991.).
Chapter 10 Quotes
“The things I should of been talking to Paul about I was talking to Lafie,” LaJoe said. “I put him in a bad place. But I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Lafie,” she said, regretfully, “became a twelve-year-old man that day.”
Paul Rivers Character Timeline in There Are No Children Here
The timeline below shows where the character Paul Rivers appears in There Are No Children Here. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...now revolves around her younger children. Despite being married for seventeen years, LaJoe and her husband, Paul Rivers, have long been estranged, and LaJoe now depends on her son Lafeyette to... (full context)
...to drugs, might not be able to take care of her own children. When LaJoe’s husband, Paul, stays the night, the small apartment totals thirteen people. While this makes Pharoah feels... (full context)
...severe disappointment in her family has been Terence. LaJoe’s family responsibilities began early. She met Paul Rivers when she was barely fourteen and Paul seventeen. They started a family immediately, as... (full context)
...is called to the local welfare office because, in light of the allegation that her husband sometimes sleeps at home, her eligibility needs to be re-examined. Nervous and subdued, she is... (full context)
The inquisitors show LaJoe evidence, such as joint tax incomes and her husband’s unemployment benefits, where Paul has claimed LaJoe’s apartment as his residence. Even though LaJoe does... (full context)
...more optimistic about Terence’s case. She also reapplies for welfare benefits and, in light of Paul’s recent unemployment, sees her welfare restored. In addition, Craig Davis serves as a positive influence... (full context)
...than by their father’s depression. Unable to get rid of his alcohol and drug habits, Paul feels pessimistic about getting his job back and even steals the television set Lelia Mae... (full context)