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Natasha

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'' Natasha ''

Even though the story title is presented as “Natasha”, is it necessary that Natasha character has to become the most important character of the story? Because of the story title “Natasha”, it is predictable for the readers that this story is definitely going to be about Natasha. That is why Natasha character is persuasively considered as the most important character of the story because of the title or some other possible reasons. In fact, she is certainly a main important character which is less important than another main character; Berman. Personally, It is more convincing that Berman is the most important character in the story because he is the protagonist, he is an influential character, and he leads the readers to the story theme. Berman is considered as the protagonist of the story, which represents an example of a well developed character. Character development describes the change an individual undergoes through the course of a story as a result of conflict that person encounters. Berman's life gradually changes from the beginning until the end of the story according to many incidents he has experienced. Though Natasha is shown as the title of the story, she is just another character revolving around Berman, and only plays an important role in his life. Firstly, Berman's character is presented as the normal teenager with normal activities. He still maintains naive about everything especially his sexual experience and knowledge. “At home, separated from my parents by doors and stairs, I smoked hash, watched television, read, and masturbated. In other basements I smoked, watched television, and refined my style with girls.”(Bezmozgis,86), this statement indicates that he is not terribly experienced in matters of the opposite sex. Likewise, “At sixteen, no expert but no virgin, I lived in a permanent state of want to. But for everything I knew, I knew almost nothing.”(92), with this statement, it assures the reader's certainty of Berman's experience about sex which he is considered as childish. Secondly, Berman's character begins to develop as the influence from another character. Natasha, on the contrary, is quite an expert in term of sex. She starts changing him by exposing herself, being naked in Berman’s basement and asks if he wants to have sex with her. During their summer together, Natasha introduces Berman to a world of sexual delights. “With the house to ourselves and no threat of being disturbed, we did everything I had ever dreamed of doing – including some things that hadn’t even occurred to me. We showered together, we slept in the same bed, I watched her walk across the room, I watched her pee. These prosaic things, being new, were as exciting as the sex.”(92), this is an evidence how Natasha plays an important role in his life ,proving that Berman is no longer naive as he used to be. Lastly, However, at the end of the story, he realizes that his experience with Natasha has essentially changed him, and that he can never return to his subterranean life. Berman returns home and peers into his bedroom window from the outside. “I saw what Natasha must have seen every time she came to the house. In the full light of summer, I looked into darkness. It was the end of my subterranean life.”(101), this implies that he decides to abandon his life and any activities he has been doing in the basement. Besides, it also signifies that Berman has finally become more grown up. In conclusion, It is the believed that every protagonist of any story is always differently significant. In this story, the protagonist; Berman, obviously demonstrates the sense of life changing, presenting a well developed character from the naive one to the more experienced one, while Natasha character is just another character who revolves around him. Not only he reflects a well developed character, but many important incidents are also caused by him. Even though his life is somehow gradually changed throughout the story, he at the same time becomes the cause of various significant incidents from the story. According to the story, Berman is the one who brings Natasha to involve with his improper behavior down the basement. For example, “ I taught Natasha how to get high. I showed her how to roll a joint, to light a pipe, or, in a pinch, where to cut the holes in a Coke can or Gatorade bottle.”(91). All these activities are what they have been secretly doing and also hiding from their mothers. Since Berman has intentionally introduced Natasha to these inappropriate behaviors, it leads to a terrible outcome in which Natasha and her mother are engaged with the severe fight. In addition, no matter what the real reason between their fight is, Zina accuses both of them “Zina burst into our kitchen and inaccurately described what Natasha and I had been doing.Then screams,sobbing, and hysterics.”(94) Whether Zina is lying or not, still, Berman at the first place brings Natasha to the basements and actually commits some improper acts, which gives Zina a chance to bring this up accusing her daughter. Besides, it is the fact that no one knows what they have been doing in the basement. So, Zina's accusation against her daughter seems convincing to everyone. However, Berman is the one who knows the truth, in stead of helping Natasha, he chooses to remain silent. According to the conversation between them on page97, Natasha told Berman if he helps her, it would not turn this way, something else would have happened, this shows the possibilities that if at least Berman had helped speaking for her, Natasha's life would have turned to be different. As a result of the fight, Natasha decides to run away from her mother. Since Berman has refused to run away with her, she turns to another choice. “Natasha slid the door closes. She was carrying a tray with a pitcher of water and multicolored plastic glasses. Rufus watched me for a reaction and then took me gently by the shoulder and out to the front of the house”, this is the evidence who Natasha decides to stay with. Once again, Berman at the first place is the one who introduces the drug dealer; Rufas, to Natasha. Her life afterward, no matter it turns out to be positive or negative, Berman is certainly the cause of the outcome. Therefore, what makes Berman an important character is that he is a powerful character in that his role influences several crucial incidents from the story. It is the fact that theme is the central idea or belief in a short story, Berman is the one who reveals the theme of the story. No matter ideas the author attempts to conduct, those ideas are transmitted through Berman character. The author uses Berman character as a medium in order to communicate with the audiences. According to the beginning of the story, the author uses pronoun as “I”, it reveals the first-person point of view, which is used primarily for autobiographical writing. The story goes on by Berman as a main character or narrator. With this point, the author's intention is to suggest the readers that this story is autobiography, which refers to the biography of a person usually written by that person. This is usually an account of the person's life, series and events which have been recored or written by him. Thus, this can be assumed that Berman character might reflect the author's life in some ways. In addition, the author also uses Berman character to present the theme of the story which is mainly about drug or sex. Berman character is portrayed as a teenager who involves with drug and sex. The evidence of Berman being involved with drug is since the beginning of the story, “At home, separated from my parents by door and stairs, I smoke harsh, watched television, read and masturbated.”(86). Beside, “Even though I had only intended to see Rufus for as long as it took to get the eighth, he insisted on cooking us breakfast.”(90), these evidences are the proof that the idea that the author tries to present is presented by using Berman character to do so. “since I had been conditioned to approach sex as negotiation, I was amazed to discover that it could be as perfunctory as brushing your teeth. One day, after some but not too many days together, Natasha simply slid out of her jeans and removed her shirt. We were sitting inches apart, each on our own beanbag. Moments before, we had finished smoking a joint and I had gone back to Kafka's diaries. I became of what she was doing slower than a sixteen year old should have. I looked over as she was wriggling out of her pants. The she saw me looking changed nothing. On the beanbag naked, she turned to me and said, very simply as, as if it were as insignificant to her as it was significant to me: Do you want to?”(92), indicates that the character begins to bring the readers into another important theme of the story which is about sex. This illustrates that Berman leads the readers to engage with the idea which the author wants the readers to. No matter what idea is, it is conveyed through Berman. To conclude, Berman character becomes especially important in that the author uses his character to introduce the theme of the story to the readers and also those hidden ideas under the theme. In conclusion, it is quite surprising that Berman is the most important character in stead of Natasha, which the author seems to present as the title of the story. However, the idea of Natasha being the most important character has become vague, since there are several convincing reasons of Berman indeed being the most important character. He is the protagonist who runs the story, showing how his life get changed, those significant incidents of the story are influenced by Berman, and the author uses his character in order to guide the readers to the theme of the story. All in all, with all these surprising reasons, Berman character deserves to be the most outstanding character of the story.

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