Write a 4 page essay on Analysis of The Stone Boy by Gina Berriault.
The brotherly affection between the two is emphatically portrayed in the beginning. The childish innocence of Arnold is contrasted with Eugene’s coming of age mannerisms and the self-assertion that he is the first among the children of the family, before Nora the second child, and then Arnold. However, Arnold remains Eugene’s silent admirer and his identity formation at this phase is mostly influenced by Eugene. He “never tired of watching Eugenie offer silent praise unto himself. He wondered as he sat enthralled if when he got to be Eugies age he would still be undersized and his hair still straight”.
Arnold has a .22-caliber rifle, which uses for shooting ducks in the field. Both Arnold and Eugene are described as going out to the fields, to pick the peas. As they try to slip through a fence and the gun gets caught in the fence wire, and it fires accidentally. Eugene gets shot and killed. The major shift in the story takes place from this moment. After finding out that Eugene is dead, Arnold goes on to pick his share of peas before going back home and informing his family of the incident. The rest of the story deals with the way his family, neighbors, and the police perceive this strange act by him, and how the inner, stifled realm of Arnold’s self responds to this.
The sheriff confirms after the interrogation that it was by accident that Eugene got shot, but he is perplexed by the way Arnold reacted to the tragedy. He concludes that Arnold is “either a moron or he’s so reasonable that he’s way ahead of us” and observes that “the most reasonable guys are mean ones. They don’t feel nothing”. This verdict passed in front of Arnold makes him uneasy. His uncle Andy takes the sheriff’s words seriously and Arnold could sense the meaning of his glances. In a confused state mind, Arnold tries to remain silent. .