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In the excerpt, the author A​ nne Tyler​ employs the use of character action and dialogue to portray the 

friendship between ​Sonya a ​ nd W


​ illa ​as a strong one that has thrived in spite, or arguably partially due 
to, their highly contrasting personalities. 

The two friends, S ​ onya ​and W


​ illa​, have highly contrasting personalities on levels that surpass the 
obvious. For example, when approaching the next house that they plan on attempting to sell candy 
to, ​Sonya e ​ stablishes that "​[she]'d feel silly asking​" and that, in her opinion at least, ​Willa i​ s "​much 
better with grownups.​" This is relatively blatant characterization of the girls, with ​Willa b ​ eing 
characterized as more extroverted and charismatic while ​Sonya i​ s characterized as being far more 
introverted and shy. After the door is answered by a mother, W ​ illa ​breaks into uncontrollable laughter 
after seeing S ​ onya​'s expectant gaze. While suffering from this fit of hysterical laughter, both of the 
girls "​[are] mortified.​" While this might be misconstrued as a representation of a shared introverted 
nature between them, this is not the case. Extroversion is simply not congruent with a lack of the 
ability to experience humiliation. Instead, this is determined by the way in which they react to this 
humiliation. W ​ illa​, having been established as the extroverted of the two, does not fully react, unable 
to stop her fit of laughter. However, it is also established that this fit was "​the most wonderful, loose, 
relaxing feeling,​" something that made a considerable part of her wish for the fit to continue despite 
the guarantee of further humiliation. Meanwhile, S ​ onya​ reacts in a manner that is indicative of her 
introverted nature. While ​Willa c ​ ontinues to laugh, ​Sonya "​ ​[breaks] into sputter and double[s] in on 
herself while the woman stood looking at them.​" This is a classically introverted response to 
humiliation; the introvert finds themselves closing themselves within their minds while the extroverts 
divert some of the humiliation through continued action. 

None of this, however, manages to explain the strength of their friendship. It has only explained the 
differences in their personalities. The reason that their friendship is so strong is due to the fact that 
the aforementioned differences in their personalities allow them to provide strength in the 
weaknesses of the other. This allows them to, in some ways, thrive due to their close friendship. In 
the case of this story, W
​ illa ​is the source of the humiliation of both characters. However, her 
extroverted nature allows her to at least attempt to see her goals through, as she continues to try to 
ask the woman if she would like any candy. While her efforts in this case fail, there are some 
situations where such attempts are valuable. Meanwhile, S ​ onya ​provides the realistic view of the 
situation and recognizes that ​Willa​'s attempts, in this instance, are in vain. This is something that 
she is able to do because of the detachment from the situation that she undergoes upon being 
humiliated.