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An Analysis of Scott's Unwanted Consequences

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In M.E. Kerr’s “I’ve Got Gloria”, a young boy named Scott Perkins failed his math class; however, he thinks that his teacher, Mrs. Whitman, does not like him, and failed him for that reason. Instead of admitting that he is wrong, Scott comes up with a clever way to get revenge by dognapping Mrs. Whitman’s missing dog Gloria. Because Scott always makes up excuses instead of solving the problems, he is attending summer school rather than going on his hiking trip. Thus, Kerr emphasizes how the mistakes and regrets often have unwanted consequences.

In the beginning of Kerr’s short story, she begins with Scott calling Mrs. Whitman that he has dognapped her dog, but Scott also lies about his identity,“Who are you? You can call me Bud.” (67). Kerr’s character Scott lies about his identity to scare and take his revenge on Mrs. Whitman. Scott claims that Mrs. Whitman hates him, and she is the reason why he failed his math class, “… that face I hated ever since she flunked me.”(68). Scott does not blame himself instead he blames his math teacher. Scott thinks that Mrs. Whitman hates him, so he lies about having Mrs. Whitman’s dog Gloria to take his revenge, “I do not even have that nutsy little bulldog of yours.”(68). In this sentence Kerr’s character Scott is thinking to himself, and lies about having Gloria get his revenge on Mrs. Whitman. Scott takes his revenge to get a scare out of Mrs Whitman, “I could just imagine her face…)(68). This goes back to Scott’s character, he shows how angry and anguish he is towards Mrs. Whitman. Scott blames his teacher for not passing his math class instead of owing up to his mistakes. Also, he wants Mrs. Whitman to suffer they way he will suffer because he will not get the opportunity to go to the hiking trip.

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In another dilemma Scott reacted quick that made him angry in the story, and without thinking about his actions, unwanted consequences occurred,“ I hated her ever since she flunked me…All I have is this one chance to get revenge, and i’m grabbing it!” (6). Scott’s mistake was that he reacted so angrily towards Mrs. Whitman because she flunked him, and without thinking he did things he shouldn’t have done. Scott dognapped Mrs. Whitman’s dog and asked her for “A thousand dollars… A thou, in one hundred- dollar bills.” Scott shows gutsiness after calling his math teacher for a thousand dollars. Scott was angry when he made the call, his actions were unnecessary, yet he did things that he should not have done. Scott felt his dad blew when he told his dad that he failed his math class,“ i was down. I knew what Dad meant when he’d told me he felt bad after he “blew” and that he didn’t like himself for it.”(74) Scott felt guilty after his dad blew and told him he can not go to the hiking trip. Scott didn’t think about his Dad, and the consequences that occurred, “what a shame, and now you won’t get an allowance either, or have TV in your bedroom, or use the computer.” (69). Scott did not realize that reacting in an angry manner his actions can occur unwanted consequences.

Coming clean, regretting your actions, and asking for an apology is a good way to start. Scott regretted his actions on blaming Mrs. Whitman for failing his class. Scott later throughout the story he called Mrs. Whitman to tell her it is a joke, “I don’t have your dog I was playing a joke.” (74). Mrs. Whitman knew about Scott and that it was he who called her. Scott’s mother told him Mrs. Whitman called to let him know that he will be his teacher for summer school, “Tell him I’ll see him this summer. I’m teaching remedial math.”(76). Scott regretted everything and asked for an apology, and even told his Dad he was wrong, “You actually said sometimes you screw up. That’s a new one.”(75). Dad wanted Scott to take the blame, so he did. Scott learned his lesson about mistakes and regrets, unwanted consequences can occur.

At the end of Kerr’s short story, Scott realizes that his math grade was due to his lack of studying rather than Mrs. Whitman not liking him. Scott also realize that he needed to take ownership and tell the truth. Regrets and mistakes do have unwanted consequences, and Kerr wanted to tell her readers in “I’ve Got Gloria”.


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