This Boy's Life Close Reading Prompt

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Curran Aiyer
English II
Ms. Jennings
12 September 2012
This Boy’s Life Close Reading Sketch
Pages 76-83

1.) Up until now, Jack has always been mischievous and getting into trouble. Earlier, he killed a squirrel with the shotgun his mother told him not to touch, he threw rocks at someone’s nice car, and in this part of the story, he and a couple of his classmates smoked cigarettes in the bathroom and wrote profane words on the walls. The new vice principal, who is very strict, wanted to determine who is responsible for writing the obscenity in the boy’s bathroom walls. The vice principal’s anger and righteousness frightened Jack to the point where he had stomach cramps and had to go to the nurse. Soon the vice principal forcefully brought him to his office as he strongly suspected Jack of violating school property, the law, and decency. While Jack kept lying and saying he was innocent, the nurse called his mother to the school and his mother strongly protected him. When the issue couldn’t be resolved by the vice principal, the principal had to step in. Being a milder mannered man who did not like confrontations, the principal spoke more about how he gave up smoking and ultimately let Jack get away without any punishment. Even though Jack avoided punishment, he continued to have the cramps.

2.) “I got scared. Even more than his anger, his righteousness scared me to the point where my stomach cramped up.” (Wolff 77) This section resonated with me because when my mom is mad at me for not telling her everything, it’s not the anger that she expresses that scares me, but the feeling that I failed the expectation of honesty and integrity, which I learn at home and school.

“Taylor and Silver and I sometimes hung out in the bathroom during lunch hour. We smoked cigarettes and combed our hair and exchanged interesting facts not available to the general public about women.” (Wolff 76). This section resonated with me because in India, my family there...
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