Samuel by Grace Paley

Topics: Boy, Short story, Grace Paley Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: October 31, 2012

Samuel lessons learned
The story “Samuel” by Grace Paley takes place on a moving subway headed towards the Bronx. The passengers introduce Samuel and friends as tough little boys that are not afraid of anything. “The boys are just being boys” is also used. Many of the passengers had opportunities to tell them to calm down or even to tell them to stop. This could of have prevented the death of Samuel. Some men relive their childhood through the boy’s and many of the ladies shaking their head with disapproval. A woman passenger does approach the boys only to be laughed at when she warns them about their behavior. As another onlooker thinks he is doing them a favor by pulling the emergency cord. The end result is the death of young boy named Samuel. With that we see a consequence that can’t be fixed. Throughout the story of Samuel the use of theme, tone and foreshadowing helps the reader understand Grace Paley’s short story.

A theme is the generalization about the meaning of the story. Samuel death show’s that People cannot be replaced. Samuel in the end may have of just been a little boy having fun with friends. Through his death we see his mom suffering the most pain. The loss of a child is the hardest thing to move on from. “Oh, oh she cried hopelessly. She did not know how she could ever find another little boy like that one.” Children can never be replaced. The male onlooker who relived his boyhood through watching the group of boys jiggle on the swaying platform knew the risk they were taking. “They don’t like them to jiggle or to jump but they don’t want to interfere.” When is it the right time to interfere or is just ok to say nothing at all. If they knew the outcome would they of continued to ignore the boys actions or would he stepped in told them to stop and sit down. The cord puller who was just “citizenly” thinks he helped the situation. “He stood up straight and looked at the boys for a couple of seconds. Then he walked to the...
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