Change In The Palace Thief By Ethan Canin

934 Words4 Pages

There is one force in this world that is constant which is change, stagnation gives way to degradation and death. Nothing is safe from change, not even people, every day we change whether it be physically, spiritually, or mentally. Our ideals and morals change throughout our life, but some people do not want to change and try to hold onto their past glory days. Hundert is one such character. He is a bastion of static in a world of change, and Sedgewick Bell uses this to his advantage. The central idea is that even after his many mistakes over his life, Hundert does not change in "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin. Initially Hundert is a likeable character. He is intelligent and lives for St. Benedict's and its students, "That school was my …show more content…

Julius Caesar competition. His favoritism is astounding considering that he put Sedgewick in the contest thereby rejecting Martin Blythe. This is a testament to how easily influenced Hundert is if Sedgwick, a thirteen year old boy, can manipulate him with no real effort. His actions during the contest show Hundert's true colors when he does not expose Sedgewick for being a liar and cheater. Hundert feels betrayed and even though he sabotages Sedgewick so Deepak wins, the damage is done "compromise begets only more compromise" (Canin, pg. 169). He sacrifices his morals and makes the wrong …show more content…

He is shown to be very self-centered and prideful "I was struck anew with how great a privilege my profession had been (Canin, pg. 189). Hundert feels that he is the sole reason his students have grown up into great and powerful men. Thich is one of the largest deficiencies in his character. This also shows his hypocrisy, when he taught he wants them to "understand his own significance before the sand of time" (Canin, pg. 157) which he never did understand it himself. He believes he is the center of the universe and all of his students owe their success to him and unconditionally love him as their teacher. His favoritism is further illuminated when he does not even apologize to Martin Blythe for his detestable acts at the first competition. Not just that, the whole time he is still focused on Sedgewick and is not even happy about Deepak winning at either competitions. Hundert can simply not deal with adversity, because even though the second time he should be even more inclined to uncover Sedgewick's cheating he does not and repeats his sabotage of Sedgwick. "The boy had somehow got hold of me again" (Canin, pg. 193) again shows how easily manipulated Hundert is because he is still devoted to Sedgewick after his second

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