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Death Of Speedy Characteranaly Essay, Research Paper
When living in a small community where most of it s inhabitants are of the same ethnic background, people sometimes become short sighted. They are preoccupied with having to defend themselves from other races and don t take the time to look at the world that is just outside their own. One such world is portrayed in The Death of Speedy. It s characters live in a little town where all they have been exposed to is people of their same culture and little else. Each one deals with this in his or her way.
For Example, Maggie, the main character in the novel, finds out that everything she has known to be secure has left her, the main aspect of her security being Hopey. Since Hopey has left, it seems as though Maggie s world has been turned upside down. Her aunt threatening to throw her out causes her to feel insecurity because, as she is quickly finding out, she will have no place to call home. When Speedy comes back into town, she feels even more threatened by the fact that he begins to date her sister.
Hopey is feeling insecure as well. She decides to leave home because she is seeking something she thinks she will find when she goes on tour with her band a family environment. When the members of the band end up leaving her, she realizes that the security that she s seeking is not with them, but with Maggie. Hopey is confused about who she is, so she feels that she needs to seek it somewhere else. She s also the kind of person who tries to hide her insecurity by not caring about other people. She s a bit selfish and self absorbed because she can t see past her own feelings of being alone.
Speedy originally comes to town looking for Maggie. When he meets her younger sister, Esther, he decides to date her instead. In a way, Speedy dates Esther because he still wants Maggie. He knows that Maggie can see through him, and so he settles for the next best thing her sister. Speedy has a solipsistic attitude. He and his gang of chronies live in their own world, and deter anyone who tries to enter it. The manner in which they are very territorialistic toward people from Montoya, the neighboring town suggests that they live in a world that they have created for themselves and are cut off from all else.
Maggie has to deal with the feelings that seeing Speedy with her sister brings out in her. In a way, she misses Speedy, and seeing her sister with him makes her miss him more. She knows that if she relents and decides to be with him that he will only hurt her again. She also knows how manipulative he is, and is afraid to see her sister get hurt. This makes her feel that much more insecure because her family is being invaded by a person who has hurt her. In a way, Maggie is just like Hopey because she tries to distance herself from her family and her life hoping to find what she s looking for. What she doesn t see is that Hopey is as insecure without her as Maggie is without Hopey. She also refuses to see that Ray cares about her too. She pushes him away without realizing what she s doing, making him think that she is still in love with Speedy. Maggie is so short-sighted that is she were to open her eyes and look at what is right in front of her, she would find the security that is lacking in her life.
Speedy is experiencing some insecurity of his own. He missed Maggie, which is the reason why he wants her back in the first place. When ha begins to date Esther, he begins to feel insecure about her faithfulness to him. He shows this insecurity by cheating on her with a woman he knows will sleep with him, just so that he can prove to Esther that he can. What Speedy really wants is to feel secure with someone, even though he would never admit it. When Speedy confesses to Maggie that he only ever wanted her and not Esther, he thinks he means what he s saying. But he thinks this because he is used to being with her, and uses her as his security blanket . He is afraid to be without her because he is used to her.
Maggie is like Speedy in the way she views Hopey. She is secure with Hopey because she is used to being with her. She even fantasizes about one day marrying Hopey because at least her life will then be predictable and planned. But something is still missing. When Maggie goes through some personal changes, she finds out that she s in love with Ray. She loves Hopey as well, but not in the same way she loves Ray.
The reason all of these characters have isolated themselves in their own safe environments is that each one of them is insecure and feels more secure knowing that they are in control. Until they each find what they are looking for, they decide to be blind to the fact that something is missing in their lives and try to fill the void with substitutions. None of them wants to see what s in front of them because of fear of being rejected and/or alone. When they finally do open their eyes and realize what has been missing in their lives all along is when they are finally able to shed their insecurities.
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