Analysis of Theme in "Muldoon in Love"

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Comedy about Love? Patrick McManus writes about the theme of infatuation in a light-hearted, comical way in “Muldoon in Love.” Using third graders at Delmore Blight Grade School, McManus introduces Miss Deets as their new teacher for the school year. Immediately all the boys “fell instantly in love with Miss Deets, but none more than…Crazy Eddie Muldoon” (2). Having the student named “Crazy Eddie” be the one to fall the hardest for the teacher sets up the story for laughter. One can only imagine what antics a student known as “Crazy Eddie” would engage in. Also, obviously an eight-year-old boy is not capable of really loving the teacher, but McManus highlights Muldoon’s desire to gain her approval by emphasizing how he “became the champion of our weekly spelling bees” (2) in order to have her “pin a ridiculous little paper star on the front of his shirt” (2). Here, McManus creates the humorous image of a little boy studying really hard for the silly reward of a “paper star,” as opposed to something more substantial and worthwhile. In the end, Muldoon’s effort to please the teacher, ironically, results in her leaving the school. Perhaps with hindsight, he should have realized that a garter snake and a mass of squirming worms do not have the same effect as an adorable cat and kittens. However, despite Muldoon’s sadness at his failed attempt, he manages to find the humor in the situation with his last statement, “But you got to admit that was one whale of a Show and Tell!” (8). In this way, McManus ends his story with the same carefree, blithe spirit as he

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