Character Analysis of
The little boy from "The Man of the House" by Frank O'Connor
The story opens with the boy, whom to this point had ignored his mothers coughs, drops everything to rush to her aid as she "collapsed into a little wicker armchair, holding her side". (O'Connor 206) As he watched his mother struggle trying to light the fire he told her, "Go back to bed and Ill light the fire". (206) Now to this point, as the reader, I am unsure of the age of the boy, but I get the impression that he is a young boy. My idea of this boy is that he tries to take on too much throughout the day and eventually it was the demise of the opposite sex that eventually caused the meltdown of the "awesome" little boy. This is certainly something that will happen again to this young lad but he has definitely learned his lesson this time.
The young boy while tending to his mother also did the following things to try and help her get better because of how sick she was at the time. When he made her some tea and it was a little strong he agreed with her in a manner of almost trying to be equal saying that ""'Tis too strong," I agreed cheerfully, remembering the patience of the saints in their many afflictions. "I'll pour half of it out."
"'Tis my fault," I said, taking the cup. "I can never remember about tea."" (207) When the young boy says this I feel that he is trying to act as if he is older than he really is because he is "the man of the house" and he is taking care of his sick mother. Also, while he has been taking care of his mother, he decides not to go to school today because taking care of his mother is much more important to him than going to school. After he turns down the bus ride to school he offers to go to the store to pick up a few things that his mother might want to get but is certainly unable being laid up in bed all day. So he offer to get eggs because ""What will I get for dinner? Eggs?" As hard boiled eggs were the only dish I could manage."(207)...
Cited: O 'Connor, Frank. "The Man of the House." 50 Great Short Stories. New York: Bantam, 1952
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