The theme of differing ways of perceiving personalities is also developed in this section. The boys in Stanley's tent name him Caveman but Stanley does not even realize that they are referring to him. The name Caveman brings to mind a hulking man who is very powerful, perhaps someone dressed in animal skins and carrying a club. Stanley, on the other hand, thinks of himself as a weak person who is often picked on and who has very bad luck. While he was trying to avoid a fight with the other boy, X-Ray and Armpit believe that he was being brave and perhaps instigating a fight. The irony of Stanley, who only wants to avoid fights, being named Caveman is similar to the irony of Rex, who is practically blind, being named X-Ray. While X-Ray could easily be bullied because of his glasses and lack of sight, he is in fact, the leader of the group. Stanley later realizes that X-Ray is also one of the smallest of the boys in his tent. Despite these two factors that might lead X-Ray to be picked on, he is the one bossing others around. Becoming a bully has nothing to do with size, but rather is a product of mentality. What Stanley has yet to learn is how to change his perception of himself as someone who is frequently bullied and instead see himself as strong and confident.

Stanley understands that X-Ray is the unofficial leader of the boys in tent D, and for this reason he agrees to give X-Ray anything else that he might find while digging his holes. Stanley must constantly remind himself, however, that the other boys in the tent are capable of great meanness. When Squid scowls at Stanley for writing to his mother Stanley notices that it is the boys themselves who have wrecked the things in the wreck room. He realizes that he must continue to be cautious about what he does and says around the other boys because they are unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Even Mr. Pendanski is still a character to be wary of. While he exudes cheerfulness towards the boys he continually displays small cruelties, like mentioning that Zero is not totally worthless. This comment obviously shows Mr. Pendanski's lack of respect for Zero and also illustrates the fact that Mr. Pendanski is not always caring and helpful.