Response to Literature: “What Happened During the Ice Storm”
Humans over a period of time become selfish, greedy, and uncaring. But if you strip a man of all these things, you get something truly remarkable. The result is the pure innocent hearts and minds of mankind’s most honorable group, the child. In “What Happened During the Ice Storm” a short story by Jem Henyen, we find several farm boys covering a group of pheasants with their jackets in a selfless act of kindness. It’s an icy storm winter and the adults are fending for themselves; it’s the children who end up being the bigger people by tending to the chickens by providing comfort with the warmth of their jackets. The boys are in a time of innocence, a time before adulthood and responsibility where the world is fair, greed isn’t a word, and be it man or chicken, in their pure little hearts they both deserve warm jackets.
The pure innocent hearts and minds we had as children are tainted by the injustice we experience, masked by the greed we gradually pick up, and torn apart by the stress of responsibilities. Children have yet to go through the loss of innocence through the process we call “growing up”. “The children have not brought clubs, or sacks, or anything but themselves.” The likely parents of the children are having the pheasants for food; the harsh weather makes the matter difficult which then causes the adults to return to their “survival of the fittest instincts”. Morals and ethics aside, they beat the defenseless pheasants dead for food. The pheasants were abandoned and defenseless; it’s like killing a mockingbird. These boys aren’t thinking of the food on the table, life’s called for actions haven’t gotten to them yet; they just want to help cold chickens. Such an act might draw puzzlement from many of us, as to why they gave their jackets to a bunch of birds one might ask. They were doing the right thing. The fact that they are not ‘human’ does not stop them from displaying kindness,...
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