A Brief Moment In The Life Of Angus Bethune, By Chris Crutcher And The Scarlet Ibis, By James Hurst

1288 words - 5 pages

Angus Bethune, a big kid with gay parents. Doodle’s brother, a relation to an invalid sibling. Who would have thought that these two boys could have anything in common? In “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune,” by Chris Crutcher, the main character, Angus Bethune, is an adolescent full of insecurities. In “The Scarlet Ibis,” by James Hurst, the narrator is a boy who has trouble with his own pride. Each of these boys change their view on life by the end of their stories, one due to a conversation, the other because of a horrible event that takes place. In “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” and “The Scarlet Ibis,” the conflict of the story shows that people can change considerably as a result of a revelation.
Angus Bethune, “the Fat Kid with Perverted Parents”(Crutcher 1), starts off in a state of self-doubt, but by the end of this moment in his life, he learns to accept himself and be confident of who he is. Angus has always been teased and has no friends, causing him to build up an aggressive personality shield, so when he is chosen as Senior Winter Ball King, he suspects that someone is playing a joke on him, so he tries to refuse the title, but is told not to by his grandfather. All of Angus’s fear comes back, however, in the few hours before the dance when he is supposed to get ready and wear his maroon tuxedo. Along comes his stepfather, who remarks in his sensible and somewhat confusing way that “Superman’s not brave”(Crutcher 4). This reveals to Angus that the brave people are those who have vulnerabilities but face life head on anyway. Superman is invincible, so he has no reason to fear anything. Therefore Superman is not brave, unlike Angus, whose largeness and parental situation have brought on much teasing through the years. If Angus were able to succeed in acting natural and not self-conscious, that would mean he has much courage because he is not afraid of the humiliation that could come from the pointing out of his unflattering assets. Due to this new understanding, Angus’s insecurities lift a little, and so he decides to go to the Winter Ball. Then the dance for the “royal couple”, which includes Angus and his crush-since-kindergarten Melissa Lefevre, is announced. Panic sets back in, and Angus wishes that he could disappear, especially when his enemy, Rick Sanford, starts insulting him. Melissa defends Angus and manages to make him relax. While they are dancing, Melissa deems Angus trustworthy and reveals that she is bulimic and in therapy for it. She follows this statement by saying to an already astonished Angus that “things aren’t always as they appear”(Crutcher 7). Angus realizes from his conversation with Melissa that nobody is perfect. Everyone simply has his or her own way of covering up shortcomings, whether it is by looking like a goddess, being aggressive, or by teasing others. Those who do not cover up their flaws find a way to accept them. From this revelation, Angus learns to accept himself and his...

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