In the story "Shaving," by Leslie Norris, a sixteen-year-old Rugby player, Barry, changes and accepts the inevitability of his father's death. Barry's character and maturity are changed as he dealt with the emotional crisis before him. The author's use of physical description, nature, and the ritual of shaving reinforce Barry's transition from boyhood to the responsibilities of manhood.
Leslie Norris uses the physical traits of Barry's coat, strength in sports, and hands as examples of physical changes from boyhood to manhood. The coat, which is now very tight on Barry's body, leads him to reevaluate his self-perception. Norris makes this point explicitly in the opening paragraph: He flexed his shoulders against the tightness of his jacket and was surprised again by the unexpected weight of his muscles, the thickening strength of his body. A few years back, he thought, he had been a small unimportant boy, one of a swarming gang laughing and jostling to school, hardly aware that he possessed and identity. But time had transformed him. He walked solidly now, and often alone"¦ the rooms in which all his life he'd moved had grown too small for him.
Barry was characterized as being tall, athletic, strongly made, and his hands and feet were adult like and heavy. The author defines Barry's athletic abilities to be reflective of a person who might be popular among his peers. Norris discussed Barry's athletic talent as Barry reflects on his recent win, in the following passage: He thought of the easy certainty with which he'd caught the ball before his second try; casually, almost arrogantly he had taken it on the tips of his fingers, on his full burst for the line, breaking the fullbacks tackle. Nobody could have stopped him"¦ After Barry shaved his father, the author described Barry's hands as, "The fingers were short and strong, the little fingers slightly crooked, and soft dark hair grew on the backs of his hands and his fingers just above the knuckles. Not very...
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