Sticks and Stones

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The words unspoken and actions undone may possibly remain so, but what is done cannot be undone, and if you cause a situation to go from bad to worse, the consequences of your deed will come to haunt you. This is what the main character of Trezza Azzopardi’s short story “Sticks and Stones”, Lewis, has experienced. Lewis accepts things as they are, even though he wants to change them: “[…]he imagines he’s the kind of person that challenges teachers like Stott and Walker, the kind that the Headmaster takes seriously.”(pages 9-10, lines 61-62). The quote supports the statement and also implies he is a person who blends in, and more importantly, that he does not want to stand out. Hence, he has adapted to his environment because he feels it is the safest thing to do. This has been caused by his mother, who has told him that “It’s the survival of the fittest” throughout his whole life. Paul Fry is not peer of Lewis’, but Lewis given his trait of staying in the background emphasizes with him surprisingly much. The ability to emphasize so much with Paul causes Lewis to go against his guts that tells him to mind his own matters, so it must have struck a nerve. Being able to identify with Paul so well means he has experienced something akin to Paul’s inflections, which the small portion of his past underlines: “Don’t be such a baby. […]boys will be boys. It’s human nature.” (page 10, line 69). He sees himself in Paul Fry, and consequently wants to help because he had no help to claim himself. Lewis’ profession is not stated in the text, but it implicitly indicates that he is a teacher. For instance, the Headmaster catches him after class: “The next day, Harris (Headmaster) came and found him after class.” (page 10, line 79). Moreover, Paul Fry is a student and when Lewis comes home, he has new information about Paul Fry to tell his girlfriend, Anna: “[…]he wanted to tell her (Anna) about Paul Fry. […]Later, she’d sigh when he came in from work,...
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