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Creative Task: The Stone Boy

Six years ago, Arnold Curwing accidentally shot his brother with a .22 caliber rifle. He was nine years old at the time. Surrounding this incident, as you would expect, he was under fire by his neighbors and peers from thereon, even though it was an accident. Generally, they all blamed him. Some detested him for not getting in trouble. Some might debate that he got not enough punishment. Others might conclude that the knowledge of living the rest of his life knowing that he killed his brother would be punishment enough. The people that he loved, the people he was closest to blamed him, including his mother and sister blamed him. This is the kind of thing that a person nine years of age does not forget. For this reason I make the following analysis.

When he was young, Arnold seemed like a child with no education, except for the knowledge that had been passed down the family like the need to pick peas before the sun comes up, while they are still cool pieces of information like this would be all that he needs to get by when (we assume) he inherits the farm from his father. So he would not be very bright by today s standards. Naivety would be a characteristic you would expect from him as well it seems that in his community, mostly everybody would accept what is given to them and not question it. Uncle Andy for instance immediately believed the sheriffs verdict, be it correct or not, and is later quoted to have said, He s a reasonable fellow that s what the sheriff said Everybody (when they were having a discussion in their living room) shared the same subjective view.

Arnold would be quiet, but still not keeping to his pact of never asking anybody for anything ever again. First off in the story he appeared just a bit talkative. After the incident took place, he did not talk unless it was absolutely necessary. Perhaps this is because of shock, and maybe Arnold felt he did not want to be heard. I would imagine that he would be much like this for the rest of his life. I think that no matter how much people apologize to him, he will still subconsciously feel like everybody blames him for what he has done.

So he would be living at the farm doing much the same thing that he had been doing for the past six years after Eugene died. Doing as he is told by his parents, and not getting in trouble like the sheriff had suggested earlier. I doubt that he would cause any trouble, but mentally might have problems later in life long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Eventually the heat in the community about this horrendous incident occurring would die down and most people would only remember when reminded about Arnold killing Eugene. But the odd few like Andy would always remember and would make sure the accident that took place was always on his shoulders.

Even if everybody forgot about the incident I think there would be one person that doesn t Arnold. This he will never forget thus the reason I think he will have problems for the rest of his life.

Rationale for Creative piece on The Stone Boy

The nature of my response is to explain the type of person that I think Arnold would be given his background i.e. his upbringing on a farm, the incident the story revolves around, the people he was exposed to, the different attitudes of were his neighbors people that, or peers if you will.

The story is about a young boy who lives on a farm, we estimate around the mid 1900 s. This boy, Arnold, living on a farm gets up one morning to pick peas with his big brother, Eugene. Arnold takes his rifle with him and in climbing under a fence, the hammer of his gun catches on the wire and he accidentally shoots his brother. One of the major points of this movie, something which everybody in the story strains their brains trying to figure out is that Arnold, instead of rushing back to the house screaming, when he shot Eugene, he proceeds to pick his peas as though nothing had happened. Nowadays we have a wider knowledge of the way the mind works in this situation so we could reasonably assume that Arnold was suffering shock or denial. The time that this story is set they don t have the same knowledge as we know now so they would just assume that he either has cold blood, or an IQ of 60.

So Arnold became an outcast in a day. Everybody had their queries about what had happened, but they can be narrowed down to three: How can he kill his brother and keep on picking peas? How can he not show any remorse? How come the police didn t arrest him?

My response takes into account all the trauma Arnold went through for however long, and the way people reacted to him, and why this would make an impact on his future.

31a


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