Mr. Head, a self-proclaimed missionary, plans on taking his grandson Nelson to Atlanta City. Intending to introduce Nelson to the focal point of his prejudice. However, Mr. Head's sub- conscious motives are to have Nelson believe his grandfather's existence in his life is indispensable. He hopes Nelson dependency upon him strengthens. Doing so would not only make himself feel superior but also satisfy his own dependency needs. He's content with the thought once Nelson has had the opportunity in experiencing the city he will "be content to stay at home for the rest of his life" (251). His only comforting thoughts, as he lay to sleep before the day of the trip, were not of turning Nelson into a racist, but "thinking how the boy would at last find out that he was not as smart as he thought he was."
Degradation towards anyone, including his own grandson, is another way by which Mr.Head can feel minutely satisfied with himself. He welcomes and anticipates the point in which Nelson questions his own intelligence. Towards the beginning of the story Mr. Head belittles Nelson's rationalizing once arriving in the city "he will've been there twict,"(250) considering Atlanta was his birth place. Logically Nelson made sense, nevertheless "Mr. Head had... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Arms and the Man. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Arms-Man-8285.html
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"Arms and the Man." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Arms-Man-8285.html.