Every Good Boy
While growing up, finding things you’re good at is a necessity. It strengthens your self-esteem and the ability to believe in yourself. The society expects us to find something we are good at, and use it in the society. Whether you are doing well in school or are good at an instrument. And an instrument is exactly what the main character in “Every Good Boy” (2011) by David Nicholls, wants to manage playing. Among all the bad experiences he has had, is this the one he can finally accomplish? Everything else he had tried to do hasn’t worked.
The main character in this short story is also the narrator. He, whose name isn’t mentioned, tells about a particularly ...view middle of the document...
The narrator uses lots of exaggerations and self-deprecation, to take distance from uncomfortable and agonizing situations. Even his own mother doesn’t believe in him (p. 4, ll. 104-107). She is even encouraging him not to practice, because he can’t play the piano yet.
His father isn’t cheering him up either when he’s sighing and saying, “[but] there must be something you can do” (p. 1, l. 13). Even his teacher is giving up on him (p.4, ll. 98-99), but all he replies is “Same time next week?” (p. 4, ll. 100-101)
But his parents and teacher are not the only ones to mock him down. He agrees with them and doesn’t believe in himself (p. 1, ll. 17-19). It sounds like he has lost hope, and now he is just making a bit fun of himself and the piano.
Right from the beginning, the main character is personalizing the piano. He attributes the piano human characteristics and qualities. It is described as a monster (p. 1, l. 20) and with keys resembling discoloured “fungal toenails” (p. 1, l. 23). He is also in the belief that the piano is evil and that it is possessed and no good for him or his mother’s “cardies” (p. 2, l.24-26)
In the beginning, he believes that he is the one to blame for his non-existing abilities, but soon it is the piano that causes all the trouble. Therefore he names the piano the scapegoat for his...