“Tularecito” is a myth about truth. Tularicito, just a character
of that myth, is the focus for this glossed over fable. Steinbeck
draws on this form of genre to present the idea that we are all a
part of what happens to others, based upon our nature.
The image presented of Tularecito is that of a demon, an idiot
savant, a boy with a gift from God, and that gift’s cost. He is a
freak, a dangerous misfit, an innocent who does not need the
constraints of reality. Tularecito is a test. The test is one of
moral caliber. It is a test of the souls of the characters who
Pancho is a man that is both holy and sinful. His purfunctory act
of church going becomes true belief as alcohol demons induce him
to halucinate a deformed boy into an outcast from hell. He looks
into his mirror and sees himself, becomes shaken, reforms.
From Pancho’s employer, Franklin Gomez, we get a cold hard look
into society. We see a mother, knowing her son is to be hated and
feared, and perhaps possibly killed, cannot face killing her son
with her bare hands. She leaves the killing to exposure to the
elements, enying herself a look into Tularecito.
Franklin adopts Pancho’s demon, and Tularecito transforms into a
disadvantaged who has been gifted with talent. Tularecito becomes
a man at the age of six, “The boy grew rapidly, but after the
fifth year his brain did not grow any more,” To Franklin,
Tularecito is grace, and graceless. He is talented in all things
of any physical strength, and well proficient in the creation of
beauty, and an artist in the care for life of nature. The
touch of Tularecito brings beauty, and life, and love to the
world, until he becomes enraged, (should anyone endanger what
came from the touch of his hand). Franklin looked into
Tularecito’s mirror and saw what Tularecito was.
Hemmingway’s In Our Time
Hemmingway’s In Our Time
Half-way through reading Hemmingway’s collection In Our Time I was interrupted by my roommate, George. He wanted to know how I liked the story. He seems to be very impressed that I’m reading Hemmingway. I explained to him that it was, in fact, not one story, but a collection of short stories. He asked if they had a common theme or not, and I found it difficult to answer. “Yeas and no,” I said. I then went on to explain that although one character, Nick, appeared occasionally, the stories didn’t flow as one large story. “It’s sort of like a painting,” I told him, “If you could pick out any one individual brush-stroke and study it, it would be meaningless. But if you pull back and see all the brush-strokes, you can view the painting in its entirety.” He thought this was very wise and went away, contented that I was a literate genius.
Myself, I didn’t really know what to gather from the stories. I’ve never honestly read any Hemmingway previously. I’ve started to read The Sun Also Rises about ten times and gotten waylaid by Batman, Robert B. Parker, and the like each time. I think I read The Old Man and the Sea ages ago in high school, but it was so long ago that it has slipped completely from my memory. He is one of those authors that I always connect with my father and his college years for some reason, although I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve always wanted to read Hemmingway, but I’ve always wanted to read all of Shakespeare, Homer, and Eliot, too. The edition I’m reading has the short stories separated by “Chapters” which do and don’t tell a story. The “Chapters” strongly remind me of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I was also surprised at how simple it is to read them. They are perfect examples of how Poe defined the short story: quick, (sometimes) powerful, and written to evoke one feeling. After reading The End of Something, for example, I was struck by how easily Hemmingway made me sad. The ending to A Very Short Story was pure torture. All the stories are simply constructed, no superfluous words, no extra images to clutter the feeling. They seem to be written with Strunk and White’s Elements of Style in mind.