Wednesday, March 3, 2010
“Gentlemen’s Agreement” by Mark Richard is a light hearted yet incredibly disturbing take on a unique father and son relationship. The story seems to weave between childhood fantasy and the brutal art of consequence and reality. I thought the author was clever in that the story begins with a boy being scolded by his father for throwing a stone at someone’s windshield. Such a common predicament that happens among so many children gave the story an innocent tone. This was a perfect set up for the quite gruesome ending of the story. Much of the imagery described in this piece made me recall moments from my own childhood such as imaginary settings, treating ordinary objects as people, and even being scolded for throwing harmful objects. The author uses reputation throughout the piece, a technique that gave the young boy a lot of character. For instance, when discussing the aftermath of the boy’s stone throwing the words “God Dammit” are repeated. It is written in such a subtle manner, giving the idea that it is a phrase embedded into the young boy’s head. He scolds himself the way his parents would. “White” is also a word commonly used in the piece, which suggests clarity and absence all at one. I thought the tone gave a dark humor to the story, which was easy to enjoy.