Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mark Richard-Gentleman's agreement.

I found this story very enjoyable and interesting to read. First of all, as others have said, Richard does an excellent job with creating the characters. The child has a very distinct voice in which the reader can detect his naivete as well as his genuine love and respect for his father. The random spots of alliteration also work well to give the child a very young, school yard sound. For example on page 164 Richard writes: “Time slowed for them, the rock arcing towards the friendly family car parked pleasantly in the pecan tree shade.” This sentence, as well as others, do a good job of not only making the story more believable, but also in taking a story told in the third person and making it sound somewhat like first person. In addition to the character work, I found the ending of the story quite enjoyable. I was so jaded from reading stories like Papa's Waltz that the narrator had actually convinced me that he was going to drive a nail through the boys hand. This of course did not happen and instead the ending was a somewhat happy one where all was not resolved but the father, despite his gruff descriptions, was just as kind and loving as any.


  1. Jesse

    I agree with your analysis, the story held the childs character at a distinct level, trying not to pull his demeanor in either way. The authors descriptions are what make the most of this story. "The child walked down the washed out driveway, shirtless, Indian-brown, and barefoot". In one line we get tons of information about the child.


  2. I found your analysis insightful for I too agreed that, although told in third person narrative, the story is told almost from the perspective of the child, almost seeming like first person narrative. We get a sense of the world as the child sees it and it really almost does seem believable that a nail will be driven through his hand or even how an incident of breaking his own head can happen. His huge one line descriptions go along with this naive perspective of the story, since these descriptions themselves are exaggerations, the way a child exaggerates life. It is interesting that it is only in the father's last actions that we get more of a sense of his character as someone kind and loving rather than in the long descriptions of him, giving us the false impression of someone menacing.

  3. The Gentleman's Agreement did end on a positive note. We can tell although the father was somewhat rough and gruff he cared a lot about the little boy of this piece. The young boy's life like that of the school yard was well depicted.


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