A Minimum of Two

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In most stories from a Minimum of Two there are examples of those who struggle to live better lives and those "bitter" characters that don't. Jerra's mother is the one who says "Be better not bitter" which sums up a main underlying theme that is present throughout the text, that theme being the message that those that struggle to achieve "better" things in their lives live a more fulfilling and happy existence compared to those who give up, look backward or dwell on the past. A few stories that give perspective on the divide between those that struggle and those that don't bother to are ‘No Memory Comes', ‘Holding' and all the stories on the Nilsams.

In the story "No Memory Comes" we see The Boy that doesn't adapt juxtaposed to his friend that does. Both boys are in similar circumstances yet one chooses to be backward looking whilst the other looks to the future. Both boys grow up in a small town which throughout the story develops into a commercial tourist spot with high rise apartments all the while losing its country feel. The Boy always talks about the past he "bores people at parties, he tells them everything he remembers" and through these constant reflections the reader is given the impression that he is not embracing the present or the possible future. Ultimately, this ends in his destruction when he tries to open one of his Dad's old beers (a symbol the past). Whilst doing so he slips and cuts himself in the groin with the opener. Symbolically, where he cut himself is very important by castrating himself the reader is again entrenched with the idea of The Boy being unable of maturing into a man. His friend, on the other hand, adapts to the changes in his town, and although he doesn't like them he doesn't let them consume him, he accepts them and gets on with his life. He struggles for the things that he wants and it pays off for him as he gets a girlfriend and becomes head boy of his school. The comparison between the two boys is strong and so is the...
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