The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, is about a girl and her family living in oppressed African American neighborhood when a family friend Khalil gets killed by racially motivated police brutality in the presence of the girl (Starr). Starr goes into grief and has to testify for the case against the police officer. When it is decided that the police officer was not held accountable even though there was sufficient evidence the whole town plunges into chaos. During this time their whole family realizes they need to move away and stop following the rules of the neighborhood except for Maverick. Maverick’s ability to adapt and change his character is portrayed through his change of opinions and morals.
Angie Thomas used Starr and her family moving to demonstrate Maverick’s character development throughout the story. Maverick has just brought DeVante home to stay the night until he finds him a place to live out of Garden Heights. “ Then what? We just like all the other sellouts who leave and turn their backs on the neighborhood. (Thomas 180) Maverick is trying to convince Starrs mom Lisa to let DeVante stay the night at their house because he is in danger and has nowhere else to go. Lisa questions maverick about why he is so determined to help DeVante get out but not his own family. You can tell he is blinded by protecting his neighborhood and his reputation and isn’t focusing on protecting his own family. This is an example of him before his character development. The family has just seen their new house and they begin to question Maverick on if he was supportive of this, “But I realize being real ain’t got anything to do with where you live. The realist thing I can do is protect my family and that means leaving Garden Heights” (Thomas 309) Maverick is explaining that he decided to move because he realized that moving out of Garden Heights doesn’t make him “fake” It actually makes him more “real” or authentic and he is protecting his family and that is what is most important. From this quote, you can tell how he has developed as a character. His priorities changed from protecting his town to protecting his family. In addition to the family moving, Maverick’s character development was also proven through how he followed the rules of surrounding gangs.
The surrounding gang’s impact on Maverick proves how he has developed during the story. Mr.Lewis has just gone on live TV and snitched on King. “Man, you can’t be going on live TV snitching like that. you a dead man walking, you know that right.” (181) In this moment, Maverick is worried about Mr. Lewis snitching on live TV. He thinks this Mr.Lewis will get beat up by King. Through this, you can see how Maverick while not in a gang is still following the gangs unwritten laws. He doesn’t realize he’s following the laws but unconsciously is. He’s following the law of no snitching. King and his gang have this grown-up the family store when the police arrive. “ he turns to the cop who’s holding Mr. Lewis and says ‘ he ain’t lying, King dead started officer.’ HOLY S**T Daddy snitched. Once Starr, DeVante, Seven, and Chris escape the fire, the police start asking bystanders who started it. Mr. Lewis immediately blames it on King and his gang members who claim Mr. Lewis was lying. But then Maverick, who has always followed the laws of no snitching, snitches on King. Maverick has endured a character change and now isn’t following the law of no snitching. Maverick’s relationship with surrounding gangs illustrates how his character adapted as the story progressed.
In the Realistic Fiction novel, The Hate U Give Maverick’s skill of modifying his character is depicted through his point of view and values. His acceptance and realization that moving was the best thing to do for his family even though it didn’t seem as if at first. When he finally flipped his switch on not switching and ratted out King. When you are in a situation similar to the one Maverick was in; take a second to step back and ask yourself, Am I doing the right thing?