Ben Meecham In Pat Conroy's The Great Santini

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The Great Santini explores many themes in human life, and it especially explores the life of Ben Meecham, the son of the one and only Bull Meecham. Bull Meecham is the alpha of the household, and he considers himself to be the best pilot fighter and "the meanest, toughest, screamingest squadron commander in the Marine Corps." (Conroy 144). Thus, all the other characters are of a lower quality, just as Bull Meecham considers everyone else. While Bull Meecham may love his children, he doesn't necessarily show it often, wanting to uphold his strong and military sense of mind. Over the course of the novel, the author, Pat Conroy, sheds a light on Ben, and the novel becomes more centered around him as he ages. This is an example of the two following words, with their definitions: Tone: the attitude of the author towards the character/subject. Mood: the emotion that the character gives off. When Ben Meecham turned eighteen there was…show more content…
"Odd, he thought, I've never seen any of these boys, yet I must have passed them in the halls dozens of times." (Conroy 247). When Ben Meecham turned eighteen, it opened his eyes. It also made him regard his father with more curiosity and less upfront hatred. “As Ben passed Hobie’s Grill and the alleyway where Toomer sold his flowers, he wished that all the fathers of rejected sons could go on a quest as Bull Meecham had once done,” (Conroy ___). Nevertheless, eighteen years old is the age of a man, and Ben and his father both know that he’s going to be taking off from his family one day. “Opening his locker, Ben unpacked his uniform and stared at the new Converse All Stars Bull had bought him, a purchase that had gone unreported to the iron-fisted keeper of the books, Lillian Meecham.” (Conroy ___) Bull Meecham wants the best for his children, which is why he is a strong disciplinarian, a firm martinet both at home and with his
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