In the short story “Miracle Boy,” written by Pickney Benedict, we are shown the diversity of four different kids Miracle Boy, Lizard, Geronimo, and Eskimo Pie. We can infer by the language usage and the way it was written the time period, which can also give us more insight on how the boys were raised and who they are.
In my opinion, Benedict’s purpose of this short story was to exemplify a different type of loneliness within all four of the boys. Due to Miracle Boys appearance, Lizard losing his father, and the brothers, Geronimo and Eskimo Pie being bullies. But, Benedict also shows a sense of compassion and how the differences on how a person is raised can show more as they get older. In the story, there is also a lot of religious symbolism, Lizards actions speaking louder than words, and Miracle Boys behavior as well as, the way he responds with calmness and a forgiving heart is shown in this story and gives us much more to infer. In the story we see the complex diversity of each character, as well as the way they were raised. I feel that in this story each boy was in some way lonely, because of the things they struggled with and that is why they acted how they did.
The way Miracle Boys appearance was described made it seem as though, because he didn’t look like the other kids he got picked on, “He was a portly boy, soft and jiggly at his hips and belly from not being able to run around and play sports like other boys, like Lizard and Geronimo and Eskimo Pie,” and after Miracle Boy received all the attention in such a small town “miracle boy’s feet attached in eight-hour surgery.” the boys had to find the reason why and bully him for it. Lizard losing his father plays a significant role in the reasoning of him taking his anger out on someone else. “Lizard’s own old man was gone…” and the way that the other boys were raised also shows that they had little to no respect. “…is the difference between a house with a woman in charge and one with a man.”
There is also a sense of compassion shown throughout the short story as well. It is shown through the way that lizard was raised that he was a good kid, even growing up without his father fully in his life. “Instead, Lizard’s mother made them sit in the front room together, Lizard and Miracle Boy.” It was this little lesson that seemed insignificant at the time but had the greatest impact on Lizard that would later be shown to everyone. Although, some time had passed, Lizard still felt bad about the shoes of Miracle Boys that he continued to let hang. “He kept hoping the laces would weather and rot and break and the shoes would come down by themselves, and that way he wouldn’t have to see them anymore, but they never did.”
Many kids, like Geronimo and Eskimo Pie wouldn’t have thought another day about those shoes, they received their punishment and moved on, but Lizard knew he was in the wrong and felt guilty for it knowing the disappointment it would cause his father. In the story Miracle Boy, we see a large amount of religious symbolism getting used. “It’s miracles around us every day, said Miracle Boy” or “Jesus, he made the lame to walk, Miracle Boy said. And Jesus, he made me to walk, too.” Meaning that Miracle Boy was referring to himself as the lame man too. Lizards actions speak more than words. That reflects back to how he was raised and who he is as a person. “I’m going to go get the shoes, Lizard announced one day to Geronimo and Eskimo Pie.” The way Miracle Boy responds with such a meekness and calmness about his presence with an even more forgiving heart speaks so much about who miracle boy is. “He nodded eagerly at Lizard, shyly ducking his head.”
In Conclusion, I think that between the loneliness of the boys, how we see compassion, and the symbolism shown we can see that maybe Lizard is more of the Miracle Boy than Miracle Boy actually was. Sometimes what someone else goes through can teach a person the biggest lesson. I think that is shown throughout this entire short story, that one can always feed off of the way someone else treats them. I think the best way to sum up this short story would be to say “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
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