Bless The Beasts And Children Essay Research

Bless The Beasts And Children Essay, Research Paper

In Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout, John Cotton,

the protagonist, demonstrates two basic types of leadership, dictatorial and

democratic. John Cotton becomes the leader of the bedwetters the first day

of the Box Canyon Boys Camp. The boys in his group are boys whose souls

are looking for a place to feel safe. Without Cotton as their leader they will

never realize that them too, can fulfill their hopes and dreams. Cotton brings

them together. He does not stop believing in them, nor does he stop

believing in himself. ? ?They strained against the pickup for minutes it

seemed, and as they tuckered out, as despair sapped them more quickly,

even, than exertion, one by one they dropped out, winded, till only Cotton?s

intransigence held the vehicle in place? ?(22). They begin working as a team

and believing in themselves. He leads them in their journey in saving the

buffalo. Meanwhile, even though they do not know it, they are also saving

themselves from the rejection of their family and other children.

As the leader of the bedwetters, Cotton is entitled to make all of the

decisions. He decides not to. Although, he makes most of the decisions. It

is him who decides to steal the car and push it up the hill. Even though

this plan does not work, he does not give up. He then asks the other group

members for ideas. Cotton teaches them that in order to move up on the

ladder of life, they need to risk the precious items that they love and charish.

Wendy Rineer

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Cotton leads the group through thick and thin, yet he does not

overpower them. He lets them work as a team and not as one person. He

teaches them to hold their head up high and to be proud of who they are

and to risk their own life to do the right thing. ? ?Running and stumbling

after in shock, they did not know whether the brakes had failed or he had

ignored them or tried to cut an ignition system which would not cut because

it was double-wired or had forgotten the rim or whether he simply did not

give a glorious goddam because it was gloriously finished and the buffalo

were free, free. forever free, or what? ? (171). Cotton knows he is going to

die but he does not care because he knows he is doing the right thing. He

also goes by the principles he taught the bedwetters in the beginning and

in the end. Now they are known not as the bedwetters but the men in

ridiculous hats.


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