The Search Within

Topics: Father, Short story, Character Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: February 27, 2014

Growing up isn’t typically an easy time of transitions for everyone. For some it can be a fluid process; however, for others, it can also be an uneasy journey involving self-realization and selfishness. Cormier is able to portray this in two of his short stories, “President Cleveland Where are You” and “Mine on Thursdays”. In “Mine on Thursdays”, the main character Howie has a strained relationship with his daughter Holly due to his absense of being a fatherly figure when she was growing up. He realizes that he is playing merely a “Santa Claus ” figure in his Holly’s life rather than a legitimate father(44). Once he comes to terms with this, he decides it would be more beneficial to Holly if he left he alone because his presence in combination with bad parenting wouldn’t be constantly be reminding Holly of the father he will never be. In “President Cleveland”, Jerry is forced to which is more important, his card collection or his family. After learning that his brother is too embarrassed to take a girl to the school dance because of his lack of fancy clothing, Jerry decides to sell one of his cards in exchange for money that he can give to Armand. Although his friends don’t understand, deep down Jerry knows he did the right thing by choosing his family over his cards. Regardless of the the situation, both characters faced a decision where they had to ask themselves what was more important, family or personal reasons and resulted in them having a shift in priorities. Often times the character in a story does something to see that a change is needed and faces a struggle from within to achieve this necessary change. Cormier makes it evident in the stories that sacrifice is not easy however in the end, characters gain a sense of relief and/or satisfaction with oneself.

This concept of self-realization is also prevalent in other media or entertainment types. The film About a Boy is about Will, a man in his mid-thirties who does not work and enjoys the company...
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