My Darling, My Hamburger

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My Darling, My Hamburger
Author Paul Zindel
Country USA
Language English
Genre Young Adult literature
Publisher Harper Trophy
Publication date
1969
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 176 pages
ISBN 0-06-075736-1
LC Class CPB Box no. 2360 vol. 14

My Darling, My Hamburger is a young adult novel written by Paul Zindel, first published in 1969.

Plot summary[edit]

As part one begins, the reader meets the story’s protagonist, Maggie Tobin. She is walking though the auditorium with her best friend Liz Carstensen. The two settle down into their seats while Pierre Jefferson, the grade president begins to speak. During the assembly, Maggie points out Sean Collins, the boy who Liz is currently seeing. Next to Sean is a scrawny boy by the name of Dennis Holowitz. Maggie thinks Dennis looks weird but eventually agrees to go on a date with him, Liz, and Sean. The date is atrocious, as Maggie hates both the movie and her company. Despite this, Maggie agrees to go on another date with Dennis. While on this double date, Liz and Sean travel down to the ocean to spend some intimate time together. Just as everything is becoming “heated up,” Liz backs away. It becomes apparent that the two constantly fight over sexual issues. Back in the car, Dennis moves closer and closer to Maggie, eventually beginning to make out with her. In order prevent the situation from heating up any further, a panicked Maggie recommends that the two go and get a hamburger.

Not too long after their second date, Maggie is forced to break off a date with Dennis because Liz and Sean are in a fight. That night, Maggie and Liz set out for the Red Pub Inn. On the way, they are given a lift by Rod Gittens, an older boy who has dashingly good looks but a very poor reputation. While at the Red Pub Inn, Liz writes Sean a letter on the back of a place setting. She declares her love for him and speaks of how she needs him in her life. The letter is dropped off in Sean’s mailbox and Liz waits for a response. When Liz does not hear back from Sean, she decides to go to the winter dance with Rod Gittens. While at the dance, it becomes apparent that Liz is using Rod to try and get back at Sean for not responding to her letter. By the end of the night, Rod has Liz in a room alone, ready to rape her. The quick work of Maggie saves Liz from catastrophe as Sean is alerted about Rod and rushes over to the dance. Liz learns that Sean never received her letter and the two leave the dance together.

Shortly after the dance, the reader learns that Liz is pregnant with Sean’s baby. Liz appeals to Maggie for help and states that she does not have enough money to pay for an abortion. Eventually, Liz tells Sean about the baby and the two decide to get married and move to California for a few years. Liz is elated but Sean is a little distressed with the situation. Sean asks his father for advice about “a friend” who got a girl pregnant. The reader learns that Sean’s father is a conservative man who likes his alcohol. Sean’s father tells his son that the “friend,” should get the girl out of his life as soon as possible. It is explained that the young man would likely be giving up his life if he kept his connections with the girl. Upon hearing this news, Sean realizes that he has too much ahead of him in life and decides to break everything off with Liz. Soon after Sean’s realization, he gives Liz $300 and tells her that they can no longer be together.

A deeply saddened Liz is forced to miss out on her prom as she travels with Maggie and Rod to a doctor who can perform her abortion. When Liz finishes with doctor, she appears to be comfortable and in good spirits. Despite this positive sign, as the girls arrive at Liz’ house, Maggie realizes that her friend is bleeding and in grave condition. Maggie is deeply frightened by this and runs into Liz’ house to get her mother.

At graduation, it's revealed that Liz will not be graduating with the rest of her class. Maggie has called Liz’s house numerous times in an attempt to speak with her but is told by Liz's mother that Liz never wishes to speak with her again. At graduation, Maggie contemplates the important milestone she is experiencing. She realizes that one’s present soon becomes their past. This past then stays with the person for the rest of their life. On this note, Maggie finds Dennis, wishes him the best of luck in life, and gives him a goodbye kiss.

References[edit]