, Research Paper
Many people believe that life is simple. They say that if you have the brains and the money, you can get anywhere in life. But, for some people, it s not as easy as it seems. People thinking you have it all when instead, you may have nothing. In fact, in the novel Crabbe, the author, William Bell presents the main character as an irresponsible person. It became apparent that Crabbe was an alcoholic and a person who blamed the world for his problems. After running away to the woods to get away from all of it, he had a life changing experience and his values changed.
First of all, Crabbe was presented as an irresponsible person. That is, instead of talking about his problems with his parents and trying to work things out, he decided to run away from home. For example, he didn t like the way that society was treating him and planning out his future for him. He wanted to take charge of his life, but he did so in an irresponsible way, by running away. I was sick of my life and already sick of the future that everybody had planned for me but nobody bothered to consult me about. I wanted to be free, to opt out of the plan. But, like the runner, I wanted to do something that would symbolize what I thought and how I felt. (Bell, Crabbe pg. 19) This is what Crabbe was thinking before he ran away. By running away, he expressed his feelings in an irresponsible way because then he s leaving behind a blank without letting everyone else know how he really felt. After his experience with Mary in the woods, he became a responsible person. The first responsible thing he did was face his parents and tell them how he really felt. I want to be taken seriously, Dad, and to run my own life. I m not invisible. All my life, I ve been locked into other people s expectations- yours, Mom s, my teachers . Everybody wants me to live their lives. Where do I come in? (Bell, Crabbe pg. 165) This is how Crabbe expressed his feelings to his parents about why he ran away. He was responsible enough to stand up to them and face them. Therefore by doing this, he was able to deal with his other problems, especially his alcoholism.
Secondly, Crabbe was an alcoholic. In other words, he was very dependent on alcohol and would find it difficult to last through the week without it. He would also drink before school to ease all his pain. He called it Silent Sam because it was a way of him to separate himself from people and the society. It symbolizes his weakness and how he is not an independent person. For instance, he came to his gym class drunk and was caught by the teacher. You ve been drinking haven t you, Crabbe? (Bell, Crabbe pg 25) This is what Crabbe s teacher, Grant said when he found him drinking before school. He didn t think of himself as being an alcoholic. He wouldn t admit it to himself until he met Mary. She not only got him to stop drinking as much as he did, but she also got him to admit that he is an alcoholic. I m not sure about this idea I ve got, Crabbe. God knows smoking is almost as stupid a habit as drinking. But, maybe when you really want a drink, you could light up that pipe and it would take your mind off Silent Sam. (Bell, Crabbe pg. 92) Mary wanted to help Crabbe with his problem. Her idea with the pipe worked and so Crabbe never thought of Silent Sam as much as he used to. Mary not only helped him with his drinking problem, but she changed his point of view on life and his hatred for the world.
Crabbe is also a character that has a lot of hate towards the world and blames all his problems on others. Mary tried to teach him that it is not anyone else s fault for his problems because it is his life and not others. I think a person reaches maturity when he strikes the last name off the blame list. (Bell, Crabbe pg. 128) This occurred when Mary was teaching Crabbe a lesson on how he should react to his problems. She taught him that he shouldn t put blame on others for his own mistakes. And now from her, he has learned to do so. Now, he can admit his own doing. I m not blaming it on you. Can t you see that? I m not blaming anything on anybody. (Bell, Crabbe pg. 164) Crabbe admitted to himself and to his parents that his running away was not anyone s fault but his own. This changed his character around from looking at the world in a negative way to looking at it in a positive way.
It is seen clearly in this novel that Crabbe s happiness could not be achieved simply through his parents money. He needed to live life his own way to attain what he wanted in life. His character was influenced by Mary, who changed him to become a better person. Therefore, he left home as an irresponsible boy, and through a rough experience in the woods, became a responsible man. He now has a job and pays rent while living with his parents. His life is a lot better for him when he does things for himself that has significance.