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Maxine Clair Cherry Bomb Analysis

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The narrator depicts her memories of her fifth-grade summer in Maxine Clair’s Cherry Bomb. Through the narrator's story of her private box and cherry bomb, Clair captures the innocence and youthfulness of her childhood summers. The beginning of the story’s first paragraph emphasizes the immaturity and youth of the fifth-grade narrator. The statement “Life was measured in summers” is the sort of generalization made by a child who has not experienced the stress of high school, let alone the real world. “I wasn’t sure what it meant, but it had just the right ring for a lofty statement I should adopt,” this interprets that the narrator tries to adopt the situation and also signifies the her immaturity: she doesn't know what this statement means…show more content…
Frightened by a mentally ill man in the nearby “yellow house,” the narrator turns this neighbor into a character, the Hairy Man, a figure that is “wooly-headed and bearded.” The narrator finds peace in her Dad’s assertion that the Hairy Man only comes at dark. The narrator’s unconditional trust and belief in her father’s words also displays her innocence. As a fifth-grader, she still takes what her cherished parents say to heart. She often interjects with the repeated words “my mother said’ or “my father said.” This added detail also contributes to the sense of youth in the story. Furthermore, when the narrator exemplifies the complicated process of discovering a private box in her closet, a system which involves closing her eyes and holding her hands up above your head, she comes off as a minor, adding details that only they would consider relevant. The language in the story also displays the childish quality of the narrator. Phrases such as “Daddy-said-so” and “our cave-dark closet” accentuate her adolescent mind. The phrase ”God is whipping you,” used in place of a more common--and vulgar--curse, is also evidence of her naivete and
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