- By Davy Rothbart, 2000
The scariest things in the world are the ones we do not understand. Our imagination holds immense power over us, which can turn a serene and peaceful milieu into a frightening and terrifying situation. This is the reason why I, and many other children, was afraid of darkness during childhood. Not being able to see in the dark, allows the mind to wander, and suddenly all the ghost stories or horror movies, that seemed so vague and inconsequential in the bright daylight, becomes appetizers for your mind, to create horrendous and unspeakable images. However, vision is not the only requirement for understanding. Outcasts come in all shapes and sizes, and some are clearly visible. As a matter of fact, they will often stand out, because of their unique characteristics, yet they are still often met with hostility, resentment and distrust. The environment in First Snow is small, monotonous and not suited for growth. This means that does that do not fit in with the surroundings, will naturally become outcasts. Maurice is a character with many features that spawns distinction and diversity. His physical attributes include a different skin color, a feeble and frail conformation and finally he wear glasses. His mental traits includes a low self esteem, “none of y’all prob’ly give a shit about me, I know that” and his religious orientation “Take one step towards Allah, and he’ll take two steps towards you”. These qualities are what make him extraordinary, and one of the sources of the hatred he generates in the remaining inmates. The other prisoners are like a hive mind. They look like each other, because none of them possesses anything that makes them distinctive. They act the same, because their minds work the same way, “we all laughed; maybe I laughed the loudest, I don’t know”. The narrator defines himself, as one of the group, but because the group is so plain and assimilated, he...
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