Graveyard Shift
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Most Messed-Up Moments From Judy Blume’s 'Blubber'

April 2, 2020 33.7k views13 items

Judy Blume's Blubber novel is a tween saga about the tumultuous relationships and dynamics of a fifth-grade class and their constant need to fill their preteen rage-voids with incessant and traumatic bullying. Revolving around a gaggle of girls who seek the acceptance and affection of their class queen bee, Wendy, Blubber is a harassment-filled adolescent novel that depicts the dark ways young girls torment each other.

The book's narrator, Jill, gets sucked into Wendy's spell and attempts to win her favor. They torment a fellow classmate in an intense combination of senseless verbal, sexual, and physical assaults. Just a few of the things of their list of callous fun are "1. Hold your nose when Blubber walks by. 2. Trip her. 3. Push her. 4. Shove her. 5. Pinch her. 6. Make her say, 'I am Blubber, the smelly whale of class 206.'" 

With graphic and extensive descriptions of bullying and foul language, Blubber is on the banned books list of many schools in the US. Giving little reason for the point of Blubber, Judy Blume made its conclusion just as ambiguous as the characters' reasoning behind their actions. In the end, the girls just end up going about their business.

  • The Girls Make Her Chant 'I Am Blubber' And 'My Name Will Always Be Blubber'

    Wendy, Caroline, and Jill torment Linda by making her say the nickname "Blubber" out loud. After noticing that Linda has cut back on her lunchtime meals, they are everything but supportive of the lifestyle change. They take her food and taunt her. After Linda repeatedly says, "My name will always be Blubber," Wendy responds:

     And don't you forget it, because even if you weigh 50 pounds you'll still be a smelly whale... 

    Wendy and Caroline make a "How to Have Fun With Blubber" list that includes an item to make her say, "I am Blubber, the smelly whale of class 206."

  • Wendy Makes A List For Actions Against Linda That Includes Physical Harm

    Wendy and Linda prepare a "How to Have Fun With Blubber" list that goes way beyond insults. The list contains multiple foul ways of provoking Linda, including physical harm. It starts with juvenile actions like holding your nose when she walks by, but the majority of the items on the list are flat-out assault, saying some of the ways to "have fun" are to "push," "trip," "shove," and "pinch" her.

    Wendy instantly acts out on her list, tripping Linda without repercussions or retaliation. The next school day, they circulate the list around the school, trying to convince other kids to do the same:

    You missed a good show. When Blubber went up to give Minish her money, Wendy stuck out her foot and tripped her and Blubber fell flat on her face... and Minish said, "From now on try to be more careful, Linda." 

  • Jill And Friend Tracy Toilet Paper Linda's House On Halloween

    Although Jill and Tracy act like they are dedicated to collecting money for UNICEF on Halloween, they also vandalize the neighborhood. On their mission, they trash Linda's family home. When they get to her place, they wrap her trees in toilet paper and coat the bushes with a thick layer of pink Silly String.

    I whipped out the roll of toilet paper and me and Tracy wound it all around the Fischers' trees. Then we ran up and down the front walk, squirting pink Silly String on all the bushes. I was having the best time. I wished Halloween came more than once a year.

    Once done trashing the place, they scribble "Blubber lives here" up and down the street. Linda watches the whole escapade from her window.

  • Jill And Tracy Also Target A Neighbor On Halloween, Stuffing Rotten Eggs In His Mailbox

    Jill and Tracy also devise a plan to get even with one of their neighbors who never donates to UNICEF on Halloween, Mr. Machinist. Apparently, his house is a frequent target. To counter it, he hides in his bushes, waiting to take pictures of the culprits.

    Last year he caught some boy soaping up his car windows and besides taking his picture, which he sent to the police, he also turned the hose on him. Mr. Machinist has no sense of humor.

    To keep from being recognized, Jill and Terry dress as ghosts, fitted from head to toe in bedsheets. They take turns smashing rotten eggs in Mr. Machinist's mailbox.