Analysis Of Kathe Koja's Buddha Boy

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Kathe Koja’s novella Buddha Boy, intends to teach youth about their influence on others, as well as the power of friendship. The narrator Justin, is greeted by Rucher High School’s newest addition Jinsen, who is initially perceived as different, strange, and very “out-there.” Later on, Justin recognizes Jinsen as a talented artist, and a highly valued friend, and despite Jinsen’s peaceful wishes, want to push back and battle the bullies that Jinsen faces daily. Throughout the entirety of the story, Kathe Koja paints a stereotypical and overdone point of view on high school popularity, the concept of karma, and their effects on an unlikely friendship. Initially, the book establishes a generic and, quite frankly, mind-numbing character design for the popular students at Rucher High. This is first broadcasted as follows, “..if you can buy pretty much anything you want, you start thinking you can do pretty much anything you want” (4). This quote is a quick fix for the author, allowing everything bullies and popular kids do in the story to be blamed on them being spoiled, so that no real reason must be provided as an explanation of their actions. These paper-thin, underdeveloped antagonists have no motive, which does not allow the audience to relate to them, to understand them, or to even prompt consideration about their character at all. These social shortcuts are taken once more, “...he and I were on the same side of that invisible divide, the normal vs. the- well, the not-

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