Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Good the Bad and the Troubled

Richard is not a bad child, however he is not the perfect child either. He behaves erratically, but that is only the result of the lack of parenting he receives from his parents on a daily basis. The modern day white v.s. black conflict is a mystery to him; he does not understand the immense hatred both races carry against each other. His family teaches him to handle situations on his own without the benefit of parental assistance like the afternoon when Rich had to purchase groceries, "If you come back into this house without those groceries, I'll wip you" (18). The wipping discipline evolves into a fear and an expected consequence of bad behavior. Due to the sheltering nature of his overly-christian grandmother and no-nonsense parents, he becomes rebellious and explores the taboo activities without their consent, "I staggered along the pavements, drunk, repeating obscenities..." (21).

The cliche "everybody makes mistakes" is a fine example for Richard, and everybody in general. We learn from discipline, much from our elders (parents, professors) and that is acceptable. It is when one continues to misbehave following their discpline that they enounter trouble. Richard's environment is far from safe, his parents reprimand him, but not in a teaching method, rather a pain-filled experience. He does not understand their intent sometimes, like when Rich stangled a kitten after his father instructed him non-intentionally. This leads Richard to trust others leading him down the road to a dangerous environment. The blame is placed among an individual once they are aware of wrong doings, but among the outside world once one is in the process of grasping reality.

7 comments:

Ms. Froehlich said...

Interesting, so because his parents/guardians are TOO rigid with rules he is inspired to break them? How rigid is too rigid and how liberal is too liberal?

Evan S. said...

Very interesting post Chris,

I'm a bit confused by this part though:

"This leads Richard to trust others leading him down the road to a dangerous environment. "

In reading you post, I don't see how that happens. Maybe I'm not reading it closely enough? Help me understand Chris! :)

Chris Sjolander said...

Evan, yes, that sentence was formatted incorrectly. I meant that trusting others for everything is dangerous in Richard's environment.

Elizabeth said...

Hey Chris! I thought your post was very interesting and you made some good points about how Richard isn't all to blame for his actions. His parents and how they treat him to behave is a big contributing factor. Nice use of quotes!

Teddy H. said...

First off, LOVE the title! Best I've seen all night! Anywho, I really like your ideas: they are an excellent blend of Richard's bad and good qualities. Way to make me think! See ya at Set-build-a-polooza!

Sarah K. said...

This gave me a lot to think about, and I agree. Sometimes when the leash is pulled too tight there is even more incentive to break loose.

Terry - Contradiction said...

Sorry for being so straight forward, but I feel that to answer the first part of the question, we are to say whether he is a good or bad boy, not how he is as a child. I feel we tell a child when they do something wrong that they are a bad boy so they can learn. I do agree though that they cannot be blamed for it.