Literary Analysis Of Penny In The Dust

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Children mature when they see their parents’ love for them, even if their parents don’t show it. The short story “Penny in the Dust” shows this idea through the characters Pete and his father. Though Pete’s father doesn’t show any signs of affection towards Pete, Pete soon realizes the unconditional love that his father has for him. Ernest Buckler uses the physical setting of Pete’s hometown, and Pete’s psychological setting effectively to show Pete’s rite of passage where his love and relation with his father changed when Pete realized his father’s unconditional love for him.
Initially, Pete’s character is that of a 7-year-old boy who can not express his love for his father. Pete cannot tell his father his feelings and his dreams because he is scared of what his father is going to think of him. Pete expresses how he thinks that it would be shameful if he shared his dreams with his father: “How could I bear the shame of repeating before him the childish visions I had built in my head in the magic August afternoon when almost anything could be made to seem real, as I buried the penny and dug it up again?” (Buckler 137). Pete is just a 7-year-old boy, and his character contrasts to his father’s, which is why Pete is afraid to share his dreams. Pete is a childish boy, and dreams of many things, even if they may be impossible. Pete is imagining things for his father, whereas his father is more mature, and thinks of things logically. This is why there is often a misunderstanding
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