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Analytical Essay on Just like That

Essay by   •  February 8, 2016  •  Essay  •  933 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,621 Views

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Analytical essay on” Just like that”

Within a blink of an eye, everything can change. A peaceful day of hunting turns into a tragedy, when an Australian boy seemingly ends up shooting his father. Growing up is not simple. Responsibilities are put on your shoulders; decisions are to be made. Everyone handles growing up differently, and for some people, it does not just revolve around getting older, but also getting used to the psychical things you have to deal with in adulthood. “Just like that” is a short story written by Michael Richards.

The story takes place presumably in Australia, which is the only country kangaroos are native to. This fact, however, is rather irrelevant, as this short story is of general application. A son and his father are hunting kangaroos in the early a.m. in a paddock. These two are the only characters in the story. We do not know for sure if they are actually related, but we can assume it. This is the first time for the son to go hunting, and he is very overwhelmed by the fact that he is going to kill a living creature for the first time. According to this information, the boy is at least 12 years old.[1] He is very naive thinking that shooting a kangaroo will make him a man. The father apparently is a very skilled hunter, which is proven by the fact that he shoots several kangaroos almost from the moment they step out of the truck. He has a lot of expectations for his son and forces him to go shoot one himself.

The son is very hesitant about shooting the kangaroo, having to swallow and clear his throat to pull himself together: He said, “If you can’t do it now you never will”. The boy swallowed. He cleared his throat. He swallowed again. It seems like the boy is having a hard time being in this situation. On the one hand, he wants to make his father proud, proving that he can go hunting without having any second thoughts. On the other hand, his moral standard is too high to kill an innocent animal, and he feels very uncomfortable being forced to do it.

In a well-functioning relationship, a child should not be afraid to tell his parent that he feels uncomfortable in a given situation. From this perspective we can estimate that the son and the father do not know each other very well. Perhaps the parents are divorced and the son rarely spends any time with his father, which is the reason why they go on this trip together to bond.

The boy finally shoots the kangaroo, but contrary to his expectations, he does not feel a thing: The boy stood over it, looked down, and felt nothing. He was empty as if his heart and his guts had been sucked out of the barrel of his gun. The key word is “empty”, which means that he feels unfulfilled. The son expected this action to make him feel like a man, like as if he had passed the test of manhood. This, however, is not the case, and the boy feels extremely frustrated that he has now killed an innocent animal for no reason.

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