Adulthood

 

Living your life without a mom and dad or living in a town where you look different from everyone can be seen to impact someone throughout the rest of their lives. In, “Long, Long, After School” by Ernest Buckler, Wes can be seen throughout the story being picked on for being black. He was teased throughout his childhood and would try to be by himself most of the time. In, “A Teachers Reward.” By Robert Phillips, a man finds his old teacher. This old teacher was trying to figure out who he was until he finally snaps and tells her that she used to wrap his knuckles. By the end of the story, the man has the old lady’s wrists pinned to the table and a hammer in his hand. The events leading up to each character’s adulthood impacted their lives forever.

 

Discrimination had a big influence on both Wes and Raybe. There are multiple parts in, “A Teachers Reward”, where we can see that Raybe would usually be called out or picked on for being poor, mainly like an outcast. While he was being teased for that his aunt tried everything, “was it my aunt? Naw, she did the best she could without any money” (Phillips 4). Raybe would also be picked on in general by Miss. Scofield, because she would always put the blame on him instead of the teacher’s pet, Nathan Pillsbury, “The one who sent me there. Because you picked on me all the time” (Phillips 4). These quotes show us that Raybe was getting picked on mostly throughout elementary school. In, “Long, Long, After School”, Wes is being discriminated for his race instead of his wealth. In grade three, kids used to make fun of him for the colour of his skin, “She said, your hands are dirty” (Buckler 3). Also in high school, when his friends tried to help him, the girls still wouldn’t touch him, “Jane Evans was right opposite of me when the music stopped, but she danced with Toby instead” (Buckler 4). The town at this point can be seen as hateful towards Wes. Both Characters can be seen a discriminated and it could’ve influenced what they did later in life, like Raybe going to jail or Wes going into isolation.

 

Through the towns eyes, both characters can both be seen as angry. Raybe was raised by his aunt and was teased for being poor. Throughout his time in jail, he was always thinking about who had sent him there. First, he thought his aunt, then he thought about the bullies in high school, but then he figured it out when he realized it was Miss. Scofield who had sent him there, “The one who sent me there. Because you picked on me all the time” (Phillips 4). Miss Scofield would also wrap his knuckles which could lead to the town seeing he was angry as he was always getting in trouble, “you did it lots of times… in front of the whole class. They laughed at me” (Phillips 3). On the other hand, Wes didn’t want to be the teacher’s pet and people could’ve thought he was angry about it. The narrator could recall the fact that Wes would hate the suggestion of being a teacher’s pet, “The Wes I remembered would hate the suggestion, of teachers pet about it” (Buckler 4). Students would also see Wes with a chip on his shoulder, “The only Wes I could seem to remember was… the tough guy with a chip on his shoulder” (Buckler 4). This justifies the town judgement of seeing Wes as angry. Both could be angry though their towns perspective.

 

Both of their grade school teachers had big impacts on their lives. Raybe was impacted from Miss. Scofield’s way of treating him. He was mostly impacted on the wrapping of his knuckles and the fact that she would only pick on him and no one else, “The one who sent me there. Because you picked on me all the time” (Phillips 4). This shows us how he went down the wrong path in his life and turned up in jail. He spent ten years waiting for his moment to “settle” the score with Miss. Scofield, “Can’t do that just yet b***h, I got a score to settle” (Phillips 4). These examples show us how Raybe was affected by Miss. Scofield. Wes really liked Miss. Tretheway as she never saw him only for the colour of his skin. She saved his life when he needed blood, “She gave me a whole quart, just as soon as she found out hers was a match” (Buckler 5). She also would defend him in front of people that wouldn’t be nice to him such as Miss. Banks and the oldest banks girl, “she went right to Miss. Banks door and told her what happened” (Buckler 3), “Why Marilyn, Wes’s hands are much cleaner than yours” (Bucker 3). Both teachers impacted both boys lives in different ways, either it being sending them down the wrong road or making them feel accepted in society.

 

The events leading up to each character’s adulthood impacted their lives forever. Both boys were discriminated, seen as angry through the towns eyes and both teachers affected their lives drastically. Your childhood has a big impact on what you can become in life, even if that means you were the “goody goody” to teachers but still did bad stuff out of school, the bad stuff would control the rest of your life.

Synthesis Essay

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