The Simple Gift Essay

973 WordsMar 11, 20124 Pages
The Simple Gift- Steven Herrick Steven Herrick has portrayed rich descriptions of belonging in his verse novel ‘The simple gift’. The verse novel allows the story to be told through first person by three main characters perspectives Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin. This makes an effect on the responders to get direct connection with the characters thoughts and build appreciation to each of the characters personalities, concepts and decisions. The economy of words used by Herrick makes the text basic and understandable in very few words, also the structure of the novel impacts the readers’ interpretation of belonging by supplying a summary and an insight of what the chapter will include using pictures and extracts on each chapter title. The protagonist Billy Luckett is described as a 16 year old intelligent, sensitive and generous gentlemen who escapes from his abusive father and his “rundown and beat” “shithole” of a neighbourhood “Nowheresville”. Billy describes his neighbourhood so negatively symbolising such a depressing environment; he decides to venture into the wide world to seek a sense of belonging and freedom which he has never felt before. When catching a train to Benderat Billy meets Ernie, the train driver. Ernie’s simple gifts (warmth, food, and acceptance) give billy the little beginnings of self-worth; he then passes this on to others as he now knows the value of little acts of generosity. Billy compares Ernie to his father and notices the vast differences between the two men; this brings flashbacks to Billy about his harsh upbringing by his father “I was ten years old…gave me one hard backhander across the face”. Ernie’s train whistle symbolises the beginning of Billy’s new life “Ernie whistles good luck”. Billy finds some comfort and freedom when he visits the library to read, he sees himself as “lord of the lounge”. Here he meets his next

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