Separating Boys from Men
There is much more to the world than meets the eye. In the short stories “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman and “Gryphon” by Charles Baxter, two young boys have experiences that will change the way they view life forever. Enn, from the story by Gaiman, is an awkward teenager who afraid of girls but is talked into attending a party anyway by his friend Vic. Tommy, from “Gryphon,” is a typical fourth grader in a very atypical situation. In both stories, eccentric female characters spark and ignite the changes that the boys need to come of age. Enn and Tommy grow as characters and discover that adults do not always have the answers, that new experiences are crucial, and to be accepting of all ideas no matter how foreign.
Adults do not know everything. To an adult, this is a simple and obvious fact; to a child however, this is a shocking realization. Up until Miss Ferenczi, a substitute teacher, is introduced to Tommy’s fourth grade class, he believes that adults will always know what is right. Miss Ferenczi tells fabulous stories, however she jumbles fact with fiction. She even states, “six times eleven can sometimes be considered to be sixty-eight” (Baxter 155.) All the children, Tommy included, are disgruntled by her confusing so-called facts. In an instant, he realizes that adults are not super-heros, but more developed children that have bigger responsibilities. They are liable to make mistakes and be confused by many things, just as children are. When confronted with the wrongness of her multiplication, Miss Ferenczi admits she was incorrect. Nevertheless, she asks the children to find the harm in an incorrect statement, questioning if they or their parents or pets are hurt. Tommy becomes uneasy with how simple it is for adults to lie and have false answers. He finds that he must not always rely on and trust adults. He sees that in order to ensure that one is accurate, one must rely on their own work and research to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document