A New Trick For An Old Dog

1062 words - 4 pages

“You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks.” It’s a quote most of us know, and have even used at some point in our lives. The meaning, basically, is that once one has become set in a certain way of doing something, or in this case, not doing something, you can’t change them and teach them a new way. Often that shows to be true, but is that true for the slackers we know and love in life? Can they be taught something new and indeed change their ways? I say yes. They can. After reading several literary works on slackers from the grasshopper in “The Ant and the Grasshopper, to the father-to-be slacker in the movie, Knocked Up, I have come to realize that slackers, like them or hate them, can be taught something new. Sometimes it's just an act of maturing in life. Kay Hymowitz, author of the book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys, calls it “pre-adulthood,” or emerging adulthood in men. Other times, they just need a jolt in life, a fire under them to push them into the direction of change.

In “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” we see the character of the grasshopper, the slacker, loafing his life away, sleeping and singing while he sits back and watches the ants toil and struggle for their food, in order to prepare for the coming winter months. Even though the ants warn him of the coming season, the grasshopper takes no thought for his own and instead, continues to lounge around. Soon enough the old grasshopper realizes that winter is bearing down hard on him and the grasshopper finds himself alone, cold and starving. He goes to the ants and begs for them to help him, but the ants remember how much of a slacker he was and turn him away to die of starvation in the horrible cold. The grasshopper is an example of a slacker who, though he found the match to light the fire, was just a little too late in the change. Had the grasshopper just paid attention and taken notice of the change in the wind, he would have been prepared enough to be able to endure through the winter, though probably with little to go on, and he would have survived to see the coming spring, when once again he could sing and dance and enjoy his surroundings. This doesn’t have to always be the case and in the movie, Knocked Up, we see an example that it’s not always too late, even when it appears that way.

Knocked Uptells us the story of Ben Stone, the 23-yr old slacker who lives with his friends, and Alison Scott, a television personality. After a chance meeting at a nightclub and a subsequent one-night stand, they find they are expecting a child together. The couple decides to give the relationship a try, in-spite of their differences. Ben seems to be stuck in this pre-adulthood stage that Kay Hymowitz speaks of. A clue to why this may be is given when Ben calls his father to get advice on what his next step should be. His father offering no advice and...

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