Kid Nobody Could Handle

Topics: Short story, Foster care, High school Pages: 2 (749 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In the short story, The Kid Nobody Could Handle, by Kurt Vonnegut, the main character of the story is George Helmholtz. He lives in a small town with his wife, is the head of the music department at the local high school and the director of the band. He is the most important person in the story because he is the only one, not psychiatrists, and foster parents, to make a difference in Jim's life. Throughout the story, George is determined and hopeful, lonely, and fixated with the beauty of music.

George Helmholtz, as the head of the music department at Lincoln High School, is very determined with his regular students and the gifted musicians of the band. Each semester and year at school he dreams of "leading as fine a band as there was on the face of the earth. And each year it came true". His certainty that it was true was because he believed there was no greater dream than his. His students were just as confident and in response, they played their hearts out for them. Even the students with "no talent played on guts alone" for Helmholtz.

After George catches Jim Donnini trashing the laboratory, he tells him that if all the schools were destroyed there would be no hope left, "The hope that everybody will be glad he's alive". His determination does not just touch his music students, all through the story he tries many ways to get through to Jim, finally at the end he succeeds. "George glanced at Jim Donnini, who sat at the last seat of the worst trumpet section of the worst band in school". He was hopeful more than usual that he could make an impact in Jim's life and his determination pays off.

Additionally, he seems to be the type of person that could spend hours listening to music alone, or just reading music sheets. Without his wife, he spent the mornings going out for breakfast, and the evenings waking up in the middle of the night, "His wife was visiting relatives out of town. He was on his own". In addition, he told Bert Quinn,...
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