Shaving

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People’s behaviors can vary on the type of person they are. Some stories that help explain this are “Shaving”, written by Leslie Norris, “The Hero”, written by Margaret Jackson, and “The Stone Boy”, written by Gina Berriault. Each character in these stories has to deal with certain things in their life, and handle them in their own way. The stories also show how people learn how to handle these things differently, based on the persons personality and the type of event that is going on.

Leslie Norris’ story “Shaving” deals with the main character, Barry, trying to help his father let go. Barry’s dad, being ill and not being able to do much for himself, has troubles finding the right time to do so. Barry’s dad has been sick for a while and Barry has been committed to helping him as much as possible. Ironically “A few years back he had been a small unimportant boy.” (104) As a young boy he felt as if he was not needed, but later on he realizes that he is going to have to take care of things, in place of his dad. When he shaves his dad he says “You don’t have to worry. Not at all. Not about anything.”(107) By saying this he symbolizes that he can take care of things and his dad doesn’t have to worry about letting go. By the act of shaving his dad, he realizes that it is okay to let go and that things will be in the right hands. Because of what’s going on with Barry’s dad, he has become more mature quicker than others. For example, Barry’s friends want to go out for dinner because of a victory at a game and they ask Barry to go with them. He replies with “I don’t think so. Thanks. I’ll go straight home.”(105) Barry turns down this offer because he knows he has to go home to take care of his dad.

The story “The Hero”, written by Margaret Jackson, explains how Marvin, the main character, is not lazy and how he deals with sportsmanship better than his father. Before Marvin’s game his dad, Mr. Whalen, asked Marvin if he wanted a ride down to the school and Marvin then replied with “No. Thanks, Dad, but no. It’ll do me good to run down there.” (435) This act shows how Marvin is not lazy and knows how to prepare for the game. In addition to warming up he rests, he also knows what to eat and how much. Mrs. Whalen was nervous that her husband, Mr. Whalen, would end up getting caught in the excitement of the game. He promised her that he wouldn’t. When they got to the game, Mr. Whalen eyed the big center before the game started. During the game the big center would not stop fouling Marvin and, “again the big center fouled Marvin.” (439) This act could cause Marvin to get seriously injured, but instead he ignores it and takes his shots. The big center’s dad was speaking harshly about Marvin and saying Marvin should get called instead of his son, Guido. Ironically Mr. Whalen, “who talked long and seriously to Marvin about sportsmanship,” (433) ends up getting into a brawl at one of Marvin’s basketball game over this. Right before this had happened Mr. Whalen’s wife told him that he should go take a smoke because he was getting too excited, and she was trying to help him relax. Unfortunately Guido’s dad caught him at the wrong time. At the end of the fight the principle talked to Mrs. Whalen about Mr. Whalen’s actions which caused her to get embarrassed and mad.

“The Stone Boy”, written by Gina Berriault, describes what can happen if you accidently murder one of your family members. Arnold, whom is 6 years younger than Eugie, woke him up early to go pick peas. He brought along his gun in case he saw some ducks he could shoot. Ironically Eugie eyed the gun, “Don’t you know this ain’t duck season.” (535) Eugie doesn’t understand why he is taking his gun because it is not duck season but Arnold ignores him and carries on. To get to the pea plants they had to climb through a wire fence. As they were climbing through the fence “his rifle caught on the wire and he jerked it. The air was rocked by the sound of the shot … he lifted his...
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