Crabbe by William Bell
In Crabbe, William Bell tries to prove that running away is not a solution to one's problems. He shows the reader, how a young adult is withdrawn, and not only runs away physically, but also socially. In the physical aspect, he runs away from everyone. He wants to hide in the woods, to stay away from society. He thinks that people are the main aspect of his unhappiness. On the social aspects, he smokes, drinks, and stays withdrawn from other people. One of Crabbe's main problem, was his drinking (a fine example of running away socially). He shows this when he comments, "The real problem, was that I was still having trouble getting along without my 'Pal' Silent Sam". (Silent Sam was a brand of Vodka that he preferred because it could not be detected on his breath.) Even in school he would skip Gym class to go drinking. He later worsens his problems by needing to resort to a mystical pipe that was given to him. (Supposedly to help quit his drinking habit.) In school he did not have many friends, and he hated his teachers, so he would just "pretend" to pay attention. He had a master plan to "show them all" (His favorite book had the same situation and resolution). Which brings up another interesting point: Crabbe was a smart student, and important to his school. As a result the teachers would pardon most of his problems. An example of this was when, after he was caught drinking, the school did not punish him at all. Being so smart, he realized that "What teachers really wanted you to do, was guess what they wanted you to answer, and if you guessed correctly (not that it was hard) you were 'Right'". So he did not care. This shows that Mr. Bell creates an aura of hopelessness for the student. He makes the reader actually think that running away is his only alternative. He had Crabbe run away just before the final exams to prove that he wanted to be himself and to let others respect his ideas. When Crabbe finally does run away, he encounters many problems, and as smart a student as he is, he does not plan for all the events that are going to happen to him. Crabbe finds himself caught in many accidents such as: being mauled by a bear; almost dying by falling off a waterfall; almost freezing to death; being lost; almost getting killed by some drunk hunters; and many other things. Mr. Bell proves that some times you should just fight your problem instead of running away. The author also shows that Crabbe tries to solve his problems in many ways, before seeing that the best way is actually just facing his problem straight on. An example of this, is when Crabbe tries to solve his drinking problem by smoking a pipe. Finally, Crabbe does come home. Unfortunately, he brings with him a memory of a special friend, who died; he loses 2 fingers from frostbite; and his parents have become heartbroken. In the end though, he talks to his parents, and they accept him back. Also, he joins a team of problem- child helpers. There, he explains to other students who have similar problems how to help themselves, and teaches them what he has learned in the wilderness.
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