The Stone Boy

In this essay, would I like to discuss how the way his family neglects Arnold can affect him in the future. The story is set in the south part of the USA where we meet the following characters, Arnold and Eugene on their way out early in the morning. The two boys are on their way out to the lake, where they are going to pick peas and if they are luckily, to shoot some ducks. Arnold has got a 22-caliber rifle, which he got from his father and on their way to the lake, when passing under some wires the rifle got stuck in it and ended up killing Eugene.

When telling his parents about the incident they didn’t believed him. Shortly after the sheriff and the father bring Arnold in to town, they didn’t believe it was an accident but that he had planed everything. In The Stone Boy we meet a little boy by the name Arnold, who’s only 9 years old. He is a young, happy boy who looked up to his brother. But something went awry when his brother got killed. He went into a state of shock that instead of calling for his father to help Eugene so that he could maybe survive, just went on picking peas.

Furthermore his state of shock became worse when he was brought to the sheriff’s office for a hearing; In there, the sheriff questions Arnold about things, like why he was carrying a 22-caliber rifle, if him and his brother where good friends, how it happened ect. But then the sheriff began pinpointing his questions, like why he didn’t call for help and why he kept on picking peas for an hour could Arnold not answer the question. Which made it seem obvous, to the sherrif and the father, that the boy might have killed Eugie for the sake of pleasure that and that accusation made Arnold look as an evil young boy.

The way the grownups handled the situation was poorly. The boy at only nine years gets questions thrown at him. ““I came down to pick peas,” he said. “What’s that got to do with it? ” “It’s better to pick peas while they’re cool. ” Those where the last words Arnold said at the sheriff’s office, before he was look upon as cruel and didn’t care about his brother.  The relationship between Mother and Arnold in The Stone Boy is not how it should be. At page 4 from line 116 and till the end of the page you see how Arnold’s mother is ignoring him.

Putting her hands over her face to cover her eyes from meeting her on sons’ and ignoring him when he tries to come in to his mother at night to find closure, you can’t do anything, but feel sad for poor Arnold. If a child breaks something or looses something they should be scolded, but getting angry at a 9 year old child because for an accident no matter size and treating the child as a murderer because of his reaction should not be the answer. Arnold’s mother should have thought about that, because he was in grief and wanted her to be there, and maybe hold him in her arms and tell him that everything is going to be okay.

But unfortunately she doesn’t do that and that becomes a consequence. The Stone Boy is written in a subjective 3rd-person. When I say subjective, I mean that the narrator only lets us see what Arnold is thinking while commenting throughout the story. An example could be; “Then he went out the door and down the back steps legs trembling from the fright his answer gave him. ”[This is where his mother asked him what it was he wanted from her the night before, when she didn’t let him into her room. You can begin to see how he is affected by everything that has happened.

That night she didn’t let him in, changed him because of the way he is emotionally. The themes that are mostly seen in The Stone Boy:

  • Death: which we have seen throughout the story; the death of Eugene and mostly the death of himself.
  • Identity/Failure: by the end of the story, Arnold has transformed himself into the “stone boy” referred to in the title.

Yet, he doesn’t do so because he feels himself unable to experience emotions and share feelings; he does so because he realizes that this is how his family looks at him. Violence: the sheriff judges Arnold, defining him as a cold-blooded, merciless monster; everyone present feels the chill of his words. The sheriff’s next words tell a grim future for Arnold. The Stone Boy covers most of the story, like I mentioned in the ‘themes’ section, about how the people around him, made him become this cynical ‘stone boy’ no matter what he does from that day on (after Eugene’s death) won’t change anything, because the environment has become ‘blinded’ by his emotional state.

While reading the text, I found besides the misery, sadness and neglect, there was a very important massage and a big question; “Why was there a weapon at home and at a place where children could easily reach? ” It wasn’t the boys fault but the parents. By that said no need to write more than that.

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