Goats Rick Bass Analysis

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In “Goats” by Rick Bass, two adolescent boys evade adulthood through their experiences as young cattlemen. This is made evident by contrasting settings, persistent symbolism, and a reminiscing first person narrator. Rick Bass uses these literary devices to create a nostalgic tone throughout the story. Bass plays futuristic Houston against the simple Texas countryside to elicit a nostalgic tone. Halfway through the story the boys begin to explore the big city. Their immediate fascination comes mostly from the vast difference between this new setting and their home. They find beauty in the lights of various modern establishments such as massage parlors and floral shops. However, they soon begin to seek out familiarities between the city and…show more content…
Throughout “Goats”, the narrator looks back on his early cattle ranching days. He does so with great fondness. At the end of the story he says, “We were still fattening up. We were still strong in the world, and moving forward. I had no call to feel lonely or worried. We still had all the time in the world, the world was still ours, there was no rot anywhere, the day was still fresh and new, we could do no wrong. We would grow, just not now (Bass).” The way the narrator looks back on these memories from his adolescence can only be described as nostalgic. Him and Moxley were still young and “fattening up”. They still had their lives ahead of them. Cattle ranching was a kind of hobby for the boys. It brought them great pleasure, but it also helped them mature. They had to learn how to properly deal with their investments. Flozelle really helped them achieve this. She helped the boys fix the fence, and properly care for the cattle. However, she also led Moxley straight into adulthood by becoming intimate with him. The narrator makes it clear that he did not really approve of this. He wished to stay young and foolish longer. He thoroughly enjoyed this period of time, and didn’t want it to end. This is why Bass writes in such a nostalgic
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