Overcoming Struggles in A Short Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune

Though Angus faces many challenges during the beginning of the story, he comes through in the end, gaining self-esteem and the right to a very happy night. In “A Short Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune,” the author’s characterization of Angus shows that negative beginnings can result in positive outcomes. Angus’ thoughts during the story demonstrate that he thinks negatively about himself and of the homecoming dance. “Yes I can,” Angus replies to his mother when she says that he can’t simply punch anyone who calls him derogatory names. Angus’ words show that he has a hard time refraining himself from violence after being provoked from others, symbolizing that he believes he either believes the taunts, or that he doesn’t have enough self-confidence in himself to know that the jabs directed toward him aren’t true.

When people comment on his overweight stature, he merely can’t ignore the mockery, and responds by using violence. (what transition should I use here?) “Of course, Melissa hasn’t seen me dance,” Angus determines while thinking about homecoming. Angus immediately assumes that Melissa won’t enjoy the dance, as he has trouble believing in his dancing ability. Just before the quote, he compares the homecoming as a trip to the dentist, saying that even though the dentist may be painful, he’ll still come out alive. Right after, he thinks the quote in his head, showing that because of his poor dancing skills, he has a hard time envisioning Melissa figuratively surviving the dance. As shown by the two quotes, Angus is originally a character with a negative outcome on future events, as he allows taunts and jeers to get to him, and has trouble envisioning a successful dance with Melissa.

Though Angus’ thoughts about events tended to be in a negative light, he admittedly enjoys himself after experiencing the action firsthand. “I ought to take you out, fat boy,”” he says, but his unimaginative description can’t touch my glory,” Angus replies in his head after receiving taunts from Rick Sanford, Melissa’s ex-boyfriend. Before the dance, Angus admittedly would have resorted to violence to deal with the taunts. However, his attitude is changed after a joyful dance with Melissa, now allowing anything to faze him. (what transition should I use here?) “Feeling greedy now, I want my moment to last.”

Thought Angus originally had a negative attitude about homecoming due to his poor dancing skills, after Melissa seems to be enjoying their dance together, Angus also gets into the action, taking joy in their waltz. Angus is having a great time dancing with Melissa, which was not what he predicted before the dance started. In spite of Angus having trouble controlling his anger and viewing his dancing skills in a negative way, when he gets into the actual choreography with Melissa, his attitude changes to a more positive one, being in good spirits for the rest of the night.

Thought Angus originally had negative thoughts about the homecoming dance, and seemed to have trouble shaking off taunts directed his way, after a successful waltz with meMelissa his perspective changed drastically for the better. Angus originally appeared to believe the taunts, as he had a hard time placing confidence in himself and knowing that the jokes directed his way weren’t a true representation of his character. Because of this, he often resorted to violence to settle disputes with other individuals. Before the dance started, Angus also had negative thoughts, not predicting that he would have a good time, thinking that his self titled poor dancing skills would ruin the moment. Even when other people tried to console him, he continue to have a negative way of thinking. It was only during the dance between Angus and Melissa was actually in progress did he start to have a great time, as he enjoyed Melissa was also enjoying their time together. The previous two scenarios both had something in common, as the pair of examples demonstrated that even though Angus had a hard time envisioning an outcome that he would have enjoyed before the dance truly occurred, he surprisingly did have a more positive view on the specific events after the enjoyment with Melissa.

The lesson learned in the story can be applied to everyday life, as people often mope about having to participate in different, seemingly mundane, events that they are used to. After reading the story, however, they could very well learn what the main character Angus picked up: that events with negative beginnings can, and do have positive outcomes. Next time somebody is complaining about something they think they won’t enjoy, envisioning about what was learned in the story would definitely help them have a more positive outlook, and maybe even giving them the change to enjoy whatever they are participating in. Parents and teachers could also use the story as an example, using quotes such as “Are you sure you won’t have a good time- Angus started feeling confidant in himself after doing something that he thought would cause him discomfort!” to convince students and children alike to dive into a new subject. Though the story was fictional, “A Short Story in the Life of Angus Bethune,” by Chris Crutcher, contains many lessons that can be attained, and then applied to real life situations. Things that I need help on:

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