On the Show by Wells Tower Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1323 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Children

¶ … Tower

The Painful Threshold of Manhood in on the Show short story published in the May 2007 issue of the Harper Collins literary magazine offers readers a funny, compelling and ultimately, devastatingly relatable narrative of being forced to leave one's childhood behind. Author Wells Tower captures the moment at which our young narrator is forced from the imperfect but comfortable confines of his family, home and youth and made to find his own way in the world. In just the set of three days which are capture by on the Show, the character enters and suffers a world where the wonderment of childhood and the harshness of manhood commingle freely. The set of experiences is beguiling and determinant for the young man, whom we find at first passively accepting of the demand to surrender his childhood and, ultimately, desperate to return to the womblike borders of his youth. Naturally, at the crux of this story is the important epiphany for the young man that childhood is a phase which ends abruptly, without warning and with the promise of being forever banished only to memory.

The context of the story provides a remarkable backdrop for this revelation. The carnival is rife with images of idyllic youth, whether in romance or in social upheaval. Tower captures a warm summer evening that seems more embossed in the nostalgic recesses of its players' memories and less servicing as a narrative of a current event. The whole scene is pigmented by a hazy recollection, like the wistful childhood that you realize, only in the distance of its having been long passed, will never again be attained.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Term Paper on On the Show by Wells Tower Assignment

The narrator is flanked not just by characters whose strangeness is out of proportion, as is the memory of one reflecting on bygone moments, but also by bit players who set the scenery of the summer months. As the story describes, "a girl and a boy walk past our ride. The boy has his face pressed against her neck, and she has her eyed closed in a fever of the dusk." (Tower, 80) the romantic snapshot is balanced by the frank humor of another typifying moment on the Pirate of the narrator's employ, when an overweight and leg-casted young "boy limps along the landing and then he crawls up the three shallow steps to the upper deck and pitches himself onto the seat. He sits panting beside three young girls, who look at the boy as though noting a turd in their midst." (Tower, 80) the turns of phrase introduce a story that is toned with both sarcasm and romance.

There is also a sense of outlandishness at play. The description of Mr. Leon follows closely on the heels of the blunt description of the narrator's altercation with his stepfather. The ultimate outcome of this was an irreconcilable break between the jobless college student on summer vacation and the familial home where he tenuously took up free room and board. With the bloody conflict and the narrator's flight from home, he comes upon the county fair where we meet him and immediately begins working for Mr. Leon. His description underscores the feeling of this character as descending into the opportunity to, perhaps for the last time in his life, relive the fantastical disposition of being a child. He notes that "Mister Leon is a giant. He has a head like a fire hydrant and palms the size of stove hobs." (81) Indeed, there is an imagination and vulgarity to the world that the narrator has just stepped inside of that here, awkwardly on the cusp of manhood and in the shadow of a defining moment of conflict with his father-figure, causes him to shade back in his mind to the time of his childhood. The outlandish figures around him, the ludicrous behavior and the brazen foul-mouthed matter-of-factness lay out a dreamy schoolyard in the sticks of Florida. Herein play out many of the hidden dramas of the playground… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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On the Show by Wells Tower.  (2008, June 23).  Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/show-wells-tower/763486

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"On the Show by Wells Tower."  Essaytown.com.  June 23, 2008.  Accessed May 11, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/show-wells-tower/763486.