Of White Hairs and Cricket
The subject of mortality and acceptance of the pure reality is explored in this passage through the innocence of the narrator and his growing acceptance. The story drops the reader into a scene where the boy is plucking his ageing father’s grey hairs. The tone in the first few paragraphs indicates the boy’s reluctance to do the task, which is antithetical to the end of the story where his enthusiasm sparks up due to his epiphany. The plucking of the “white hairs” is symbolic of the Father’s reluctance to accept the reality of ageing. Every week there were more “white hairs” and the process took “longer than the last time” and the boy was sure that “Daddy noticed it too, but joked bravely that laziness was slowing [the boy]down”. The Father relied on the boy to “uproot the signposts of mortality sprouting week after week”. The natural imagery in this line suggests how natural the process of ageing is, and its persistence is emphasised by the repetition in “week after week” instead of perhaps saying “every week”. The Father’s reluctance to accept ageing is also seen in his constant search for jobs seeking “young” and “dynamic” applicants. Every so often he hopes to get such a job but is always disappointed, as it is pointed out by his wife, but his persistence shows his stubbornness and refusal to accept reality; “Every-single-white-hair-out”. The Father’s attitude, however, is always positive as he “joked bravely” and “recovered quickly” from his wife’s remarks about the job advertisement, and “made it into a joke”. This positive attitude emphasises his persistence and his refusal to come to terms with ageing. If he always reacted negatively, violently and aggressively to when people attempted to tell him the truth, this would show that he actually understands the truth but simply does not want to be reminded of it. His positive reactions, however, show his blindness to the truth and inability to realise it. However,...
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