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Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach

Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach

Kate’s perspective and understanding of deceptive appearances is heightened by her encounter and ensuing relationship with Merle Hucks. Kate had gone to school with Merle and been his neighbor for many years, but never knew him as anything more than a bully and a Hucks. However, Kate finally meets Merle one day at Mrs. Poole’s house and learns that all her judgments and fabricated perceptions of him were based on his appearance and on rumors, and they were way off target. When Kate finally gets to know Merle, she finds that he is a very compassionate young man and nothing like what she had judged him to be. Her understanding of Merle becomes clear one evening as she watches Dexter, R.W., and the rest of the vigilantes rape Perry Loomis. In an attempt to save Perry from the violent unfolding, Merle is brutally beaten down by Dexter’s companions. Merle chivalrous behavior demonstrates to Kate that he is certainly not one of them; he is different. ` Shortly after the rape, Merle and Kate meet for the first time in the Whispering Pines graveyard to discuss what happened to Perry. The graveyard is significant because it serves as a symbolic haven where the youths of Fulton can evade the society around them, explore their minds, and employ their imaginations. Her meeting with Merle in the graveyard initiates her first real relationship with a boy and also confirms the very reality of the rape she witnessed a few nights earlier. The rape signifies the bitterness of the dark side of Kate’s surrounding society which becomes vividly clear to her. Kate’s understanding of Merle marks another threshold in her education as she realizes how deceptive appearances can be. When Kate has the chance to delve beneath Merle’s misleading facade, she learns that he has a much different character than she ever thought.

Kate and Merle are very close to one another when tragedy again strikes down into their lives, this time with the arson of Merle’s house and the murder of his brother Dexter. The Hucks’ tragedy serves as a threshold which provides Kate with a deeper understanding of relationships and the significance of family. As the drama unfolds in front of the Hucks’ house, Kate stands by Merle comforting him until he leaves her to attend to his family.

Security in Ferris Beach McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays

Security in Ferris Beach As Kate Burns goes through adolescence she slowly begins to realize that change can never be avoided, and change truly scares Kate. Naturally, Kate attempts to hold on to moments of security, where everything exists as she would like it. Kate desires permanency; Kate’s constant longing to stop time and freeze certain periods of time shows this desire. Kate takes mental snapshots of certain times, and just cherishes and savors these moments. As Kate matures she begins to understand that life’s little surprises always bring the unexpected, whether it be good or bad, and she must treasure the brief moments of security: I stepped into the middle of the road and just stood there, the lights stretching in either direction, glowing in the deep chilly air. I could see my own breath, could feel my own warmth as it formed right there in front of me. Behind me, our house looked dark, faint lingering of I’d walk a million miles, and I wasn’t even sure if it was really playing or if I was imagining the familiar, the same way a bright light remain when you close your eyelids, the way I imagine that the sight of an eclipse would burn its image into your eyes forever(pg.75). Kate speaks of “the familiar,” that is what this scene represents for Kate. The comfort of home is her familiar. Kate has the security that almost everyone desperately seeks as they grow old. Security that often eludes Kate. The image of Kate seeing her own breath and feeling her own warmth symbolize her health and her youthfulness. Kate has everything as she would like it. She lets the perfect image burn into her eyes. Everything that Kate dearly loves is set out before her in peacefulness: her friends, her family, and her health.

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