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Kid Nobody Could Handle Essay, Research Paper

In the short story, The Kid Nobody Could Handle, by Kurt Vonnegut, the main character of the story is George Helmholtz. He lives in a small town with his wife, is the head of the music department at the local high school and the director of the band. He is the most important person in the story because he is the only one, not psychiatrists, and foster parents, to make a difference in Jim?s life. Throughout the story, George is determined and hopeful, lonely, and fixated with the beauty of music.

George Helmholtz, as the head of the music department at Lincoln High School, is very determined with his regular students and the gifted musicians of the band. Each semester and year at school he dreams of ?leading as fine a band as there was on the face of the earth. And each year it came true?. His certainty that it was true was because he believed there was no greater dream than his. His students were just as confident and in response, they played their hearts out for them. Even the students with ?no talent played on guts alone? for Helmholtz.

After George catches Jim Donnini trashing the laboratory, he tells him that if all the schools were destroyed there would be no hope left, ?The hope that everybody will be glad he?s alive?. His determination does not just touch his music students, all through the story he tries many ways to get through to Jim, finally at the end he succeeds. ?George glanced at Jim Donnini, who sat at the last seat of the worst trumpet section of the worst band in school?. He was hopeful more than usual that he could make an impact in Jim?s life and his determination pays off.

Additionally, he seems to be the type of person that could spend hours listening to music alone, or just reading music sheets. Without his wife, he spent the mornings going out for breakfast, and the evenings waking up in the middle of the night, ?His wife was visiting relatives out of town. He was on his own?. In addition, he told Bert Quinn, ?When the cat?s away, this mouse gets lonesome?. Not only does he feel alone without his wife around, but also he frequently likes to escape from the world of teaching. ?I have got at least one tiny corner of the universe I can make just the way I want it?. The troubles of life make him wonder about things that he has done. ?Sometimes, I get so lonely and disgusted, I don?t see how I can stand it?. Mostly in the story, George likes to be teaching his students or engaging in conversation with others. However, there is the times when, by choice or not, he is lonely.

Lastly, the most important thing in George?s life is the beauty of music. He has a nightmare in the middle of the night, about what could have happened to the music room, ?The monster clawed to shreds the heads of the biggest drum in the state. Helmholtz woke up howling?. He headed to the school, there he reflected on the beauty of his instruments, ?As he polished he could hear the great horns roaring, could see them flashing in the sunlight, with the stars and stripes and the banner of Lincoln high going before?. In the lab next door, there was Jim, ruining the lab with acid; he decided to make a trade with Jim, Jim?s boots for George?s most treasured instrument, his trumpet. ?There?s my treasure. It?s the dearest thing I own. I give it to you to smash?. Even though he loved the trumpet, since John Phillip Sousa owned it, he was willing to give it up to let Jim learn how to play music.

In all, the character of George is determined to teach what he has learned to others and point them in the right direction by way of his music; he hopes to get through to them and is proud when he does. George is the most important character since he is the one that could handle Jim Donnini, it took him awhile, but he managed to get through to him. The character of George is the reason the book is called The Kid Nobody Could Handle as no psychologist or foster parent could figure Jim out.


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