Professor Andrea Dickinson
17 February 2015
Literary Analysis of “Boys” by Rick Moody
For any author relating to their audience is extremely important if he/she wants his/hers message to be received. In Rick Moody’s “Boys” he is trying to relate the two boys in his story to anyone who reads it. Moody chose to make his story about two brothers because he grew up in a home with three step brothers and one real brother. In the story, he illustrates their lives from birth and shows the process of their maturation over time. The trick for Moody though is to try to take something like growing up, which is a very broad and personal event, and make everyone who reads this feel like they could be one of the boys that he is writing about. Moody is able to accomplish this task of relating to everyone by using a very specific word choice and also using an interesting point of view while using his preferred style noticed throughout his piece is to italicize certain words. By italicizing specific words, the author creates stress in the way they are uttered to generate an impact in the reader, influencing their perception for the word. Through the fast pace in which the story is written, “Boys” reveals the story of how two boys grow up together side by side and grow apart for a period of time after gaining their own separate identities, thus the book shows that the true test of manhood is going through your own struggles, which ultimately helps the reader realize how valuable the two twins are to each other.
In the short story “Boys” there is a strong element of conflict making this piece of literature a story rather than a poem, as some may believe. However, unlike other short stories, these conflicts are spread throughout the whole story and not just in the middle with one ending resolution. “Boys” follows the chronological order of two twin boys starting at their birth “[…] boys with infant pattern baldness, slung in the arms of parents, boys dreaming of breasts enter the house” (Moody 297). Internal conflict is a major problem for the twins, and is noticed throughout the story with the boys dealing with life in general. Their growth as men is symbolized by the repetition of the words “boys enter the house” (Moody symbolizes the house as the boys’ mother, as they are always orbiting around her). The twins experience the loss of a loved one, which happened to be their sister. Moody puts a strong emphasis on the death of the sister, as he experienced the death of his sister himself. The death of the boys’ sister created an internal conflict that would end up haunting them for the rest of their lives, which Moody may have felt when his sister died. In conclusion to the story, it was quite obvious the boys carried on with a lot of guilt after the loss of their sister due to the fact that the boys constantly teased her during the period of her being sick, including bury her dolls. Strong evidence proving their guilt was when “boys enter the house, kiss their mother, she explains the seriousness of their sister’s difficulty, her diagnosis” (299) resulting in the “[b]oys enter[ing] the house, having attempted to locate the spot in the yard where the dolls were buried eight or nine years prior, without success; they go to their sister’s room, sit by her bed” (299). Significantly, the twins going into their sister’s room was a true eye-opener to how awful they must have felt that years ago they temporarily took away her happiness not knowing how quickly she would leave them. Secondly, another internal conflict facing the twins throughout the story was with their own identity, especially during their puberty phase : “[b]oys enter the house worried; they argue, the boys are ugly, they are failures, they will never be loved, they enter the house” (299). Early on in the story both boys face an identity struggle together, but as the story (their lives) goes on, the boys begin to grow into their own separate...
Cited: Moody, Rick. "Boys." The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing. By Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2012. 297-300.
Rick Moody Reads "Boys" Rick Moody. YouTube. St. France College, 23 Oct. 2009. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.
Goldstein, Bill, and Moody, Rick. "Flirting With Disaster." The New York TImes., 25 Feb. 2001. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document