The Stone Boy | Gina Berriault | Analyse

Situations in one’s life can feel so extremely pleasant or unmanageable traumatizing, horrible or just straight out haunting that they don’t even feel real.

Surrealistic, the dreamlike atmosphere, which is created in such situations, the terror it possible could bring just thinking about it might get you to act in total denial, combined with the fact that it feels distant from reality.

You could find yourself running from actuality, in fear of facing the consequences of the surreal situation you’ve involuntarily been put in.

The Stone Boy, written by Gina Berriault in 1957, is an example of where your unintentional actions cause unchangeable consequences. But what can feel so surreal that you don’t even fell the guilt of your actions?

The story folds out as the brothers, Arnold who was nine years old and his six-year older brother Eugie, goes out picking peas and duck hunting. An inconvenient situation occurs, which results in Eugie’s accidental death.

Thereafter it takes an unpredictable turn where Arnold doesn’t quite react rationally. Picking peas after you accidentally killed you brother with a loaded rifle, might not seem like the most obvious reaction of such dramatic circumstances.

“Arnold set his rifle on the ground and stood up. He picked up the tub and, dragging it behind him, walked down into the garden and began mechanically to pick peas”.

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