Analysing Benjamin Percy's "Refresh, Refresh"

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  • Topic: Boxing, Psychoanalytic theory, Men
  • Pages : 4 (1602 words )
  • Download(s) : 875
  • Published : June 7, 2007
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The Idolization of My Father
In Benjamin Percy¡¦s ¡§Refresh, Refresh¡¨ the boys develop into men while trying to become like their fathers. They also want their fathers to be proud of them. Freud¡¦s psychoanalytical approach would suggest that the boys are trying to step into the shoes of their fathers. His Oedipus Complex states that the son must metaphorically kill his father, except the fathers in the story really do die, so the sons step into their fathers¡¦ shoes by signing up for the war. In this essay I will show how the boys become men while training themselves to be like their fathers, and using a psychoanalytical approach I will show how the sons step into their fathers¡¦ shoes and how the thwarted Oedipus Complex has affected the boy¡¦s development. The boys¡¦ gold-colored boxing gloves are a significant symbol of them training to become their fathers. ¡§We were trying to make each other tougher.¡¨ They fought everyday after school indeed making themselves tougher, but for a greater purpose then to just get their revenge on the school bully, Seth Johnson. ¡§If you cried, you lost. If you got knocked out or if you yelled stop, you lost.¡¨ Even though the boys never said the real reason for their boxing matches, one could easily guess, after reading a little more into the story, that the reason was to gain the strength of their fathers, the strength of soldiers. ¡§And if he went down, he would go down swinging as he was sure his father would.¡¨ They also just wanted their fathers to be proud of them and pleased by their actions: ¡§This is what we all wanted: to please our fathers, to make them proud, even though they had left us.¡¨ The aging of the boxing gloves shows how hard they trained with one another and also the length of time that their fathers were at war. ¡§We struck each other with such force and frequency that the golden gloves crumbled and our knuckles showed through the sweat-soaked, blood-soaked foam like teeth through a...
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