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Nadia Clifton Professor Arnold LBST 2102-H93 17 February 2011 Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life Microtheme Boyhood was a very complex memoir of J. M. Coetzee s life growing up in Africa. It had several themes that wove in and out of the book: his love for the farm, his secrets, his sense of not belonging, his contradictory feelings towards his mother, and more. One thing that stood out to me though, was how opinionated he was for such a young child. When children are that young, they are usually not so concerned about things such as love, and religion. You know so much, Aunt Annie once said to him. It was not praise: though her lips were pursed in a smile, she was shaking her head at the same time. So young and yet you know so much. This is a quote from page 165. I think it sums him up. His opinion of things is so strong that he knows them to be facts. Nothing can change his mind. He is sure that Mr. Whelan has no idea of what Jesus parables really mean. Though he himself is an atheist and has always been one, he feels he understands Jesus better than Mr. Whelan does. He is so sure of himself that he does not believe his teacher. He does not even at least try to understand where Mr. Whelan is coming from. In his mind, the teacher is dead wrong, and he knows more about Jesus than the teacher does. Love: a word he mouths with distaste. Love: this is what love really is, this cage in

which he rushes back and forth, back and forth, like a poor bewildered baboon. Love has been a struggle for him in his life. His mother loves him and he resents her for it, but at the same

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time, he loves her back in his own way. He is so young and has only experienced one kind of love. The fact that he is stuck on thinking love is a cage means that he is not open to the possibilities of other types of love.