Shades of Gray Characters Will Page – Will is a twelve year old boy who has brown hair and eyes. He is pretty clever and tries to outwit others. He is very loyal and compassionate. He is very sad and angry. He had lost his whole family due to the Civil War. He is the last surviving member of his immediate family as a result he comes to live with his aunt and uncle. Meg Jones – Meg is a ten year old girl and she is Will’s cousin. Meg is very curious and she is always asking questions. Meg does a lot of chores to help her parents care for their home.
Meg has not been to school because of the war so she can not read. Uncle Jed Jones – Uncle Jed is a tall strong man with a broad chest and muscular arms. He has dark hair with a full dark beard. He is a wise man who believes in himself and doesn’t worry about what others think. He gets Will to think for himself and teaches him many lessons. He chose to not fight in the war with the Confederate soldiers. He did not feel that there was a reason for the war. Many people think he is a coward because of this. Summary
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Twelve year old Will Page is a grieving and angry boy when Doctor Martin takes him to his relatives in the Piedmont region of Virginia. Will’s family lived in Winchester, Virginia and had been wiped out in the Civil War. His father fought bravely in the Confederate Army, his sisters died of a disease that Will is convinced was carried by the Yankees and his mother died soon afterward. Will is grieving for the lose of his whole family. He is angry with the Union Army for causing the war that took everything from him. Will’s Mom had asked that Will be sent to live with her sister.
Uncle Jed refused to take sides in the war and Will’s family considered him a traitor and a coward. He does not to live with someone he does not respect. But he must follow his mother’s wishes. When he first sees his aunt he is reminded of his mother. Aunt Ella resembles his mother. Then he meets Meg his younger cousin and she looks like his younger sister. He thinks it may be okay here and then he meets hi uncle the coward who wouldn’t fight for Virginia. How is he ever going to be able to live in this man’s home? Will lived on a plantation in the city of Winchester.
He lived in a comfortable home. Will’s family had slaves and the slaves did all the real work on the plantation. Will is not used to manual labor and now, living with his aunt , uncle and cousin he needs to work hard everyday. His pride will not let him admit to weariness or dismay in how hard the work is on the farm. His uncle can sense the feelings Will has towards him. Uncle Jed has Will work along side of him and he gives him responsibility. Working along side his uncle, Will comes to a begrudging admiration of his skill and wisdom. Will also learns to trust his own instincts.
Meg can be Will’s salvation from his uncle. She loves to talk and ask a lot of questions. He admires what a hard worker she is. Meg also doesn’t act like most girls Will has known. He begins to like walking and talking with Meg. Will finds out that Meg can not read. There has not been a school since the war started. Will begins to teach Meg to read. Throughout the book Uncle Jed teaches Will little lessons on how to be an honorable man. Will begins to understand that the price his uncle and his family paid for their beliefs was almost as great as the one Will’s family paid.
Will was so wrapped up in what he lose that he didn’t see what his uncle lost. Will has the opportunity to move back home to his city. At first he really wants to go but then he realizes he is home. His mother was right when she sent him there to live. Setting This story is set at the end of the Civil War. Around the year 1867 in the Virginia Piedmont. Will moves from the city of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley to a farm in the Virginia Piedmont. Will had lived a life of leisure with slaves that cared for the home and grounds and did all the cooking.
When he moves in with his aunt and uncle he needs to learn how to work. The family has a lot of chores that need to be done to take care of the farm. They also have traps for catching rabbit and gardens to grow vegetables. Will fishes so they can have fish for dinner. The family does not have a horse so they must walk everywhere they go. They do not wear shoes because it is summer time. They have a pasture and a buckwheat field. But a lot of the area is woods. They have a springhouse that keeps things cool. Will needs to chop wood for the fire so they can cook dinner.