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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a young adult is withdrawn, and not only runs away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smokes, drinks, and stays withdrawn from other people.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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