Antaeus Essay

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Junior English- 2

17 September 2010

Antaeus Essay

Individuality is the aggregate of qualities and characteristics that distinguish one person from others. The Short Story “Antaeus” by Borden Deal illustrates that even if man has a strong sense of individuality, which can often inspire others to fuel their dreams; authority sometimes prevents them from accomplishing it. It only takes one unique individual, like TJ, to enthuse others, such as the “gang”, to work towards a common goal, the roof garden, until the status quo of society terminates it.

Being Southern, TJ’s individuality lead to having unique interests that are unlike the other boys. TJ is unique from the other boys because “he talked [differently] from any of them” (Deal 100). Unlike the other boys, TJ has a strong southern accent, which makes him unique. TJ’s Alabama home is different from the northern cities, TJ asks if “[they]” have any “fields to” grow stuff in (101). TJ had his own field that he used to grow whatever he wanted. In the city he currently lives in, there is no open land to grow things.

TJ shares his dream of building a roof garden to the “gang” because He misses his home in Alabama. TJ suggested to the other boys that “[they] could make [their] own field” on the roof (101). Because of TJ’s gardening hobby, he brought his individuality and a dream to accomplish to the rest of the “gang”. The boys were fond of the idea of having “[their] own private domain” and something “only rich people had” (102). In their society, not many people had roof gardens besides those in the upper class. This gave the boys a reason to build the roof garden.

When TJ and the boys decide what kind of watermelon to grow, the owners of the building explain to them that they can’t grow on the roof. After TJ told the three owners of his idea of growing watermelon, they asked if “[they] wanted to go to jail” for “[putting] that on [their] building” (107). The word jail in this quote is very...
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