April 20, 2012


Why does the boy — as remembered by the man — connect the killing of the bird to his own good fortune? Is it some elemental realization that simply to be alive is amazing, the bird being dead? Or is he excited to be in this new place with lots of thrilling new activities like beheading a bird and shortly thereafter eating it? Or is it the connection to the father figure, who’s so eager to show the boy what life is really about and so easily overcomes the reticence of the mother? The next thing that happens in the book is that Lolo teaches him how to deal with bullies: Don’t cry over the lump where he hit you with a rock; learn boxing. Lolo buys boxing gloves for him and teaches him to “keep moving, but always stay low—don’t give them a target.” Good advice!

And it’s on the very next page that Lolo teaches him to eat dog (and snake) meat.

New Media Matters spin: See, he’s practically undergone Navy SEAL training!

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