Me And Earl And The Dying Girl Analysis

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The story “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The time setting is in the year 2011 nearing the end of the school year and main characters, Gregory Gaines, Earl Jackson, and Rachel Kushner are all in their senior year at Benson High School. The setting differentiates the character’s personality by separating them by social class. Author illustrates Rachel and Gregory living in a middle class home in a quiet neighborhood in the town area they live in. However, Earl lives in a dangerous and unkept part of the city that characterizes him and his family as dangerous people because of their semi-economic disadvantage. Andrews specifically describes the Jacksons’ house as “falling apart- there’s…show more content…
Greg finds himself arguing whether to comfort his friend Rachel who was diagnosed with Leukemia or to keep living his ordinary and commonplace life. Spending time with Rachel would lead to people believing he was in her friend group. This would eventually lead to the creation of enemies which is what Greg wanted to avoid in the first place. Whether Greg should show Rachel the movies he and Earl made is another man versus self conflict. Greg must make his own decision whether or not to embarrass himself by sharing his unprofessional video shorts to someone other than Earl or himself. Both man versus self conflicts demonstrate Greg’s self consciousness and his fear of judgement from his other peers. An example of this is when Andrews illustrates Greg’s humiliation when sharing one of his films with his parents: “We had already known it was bad, but somehow, with Mom and Dad there watching, it seemed ten times worse” (Loc. 1308). Also, the man versus self conflicts
Another conflict in the story is man versus society: Greg versus ethnocentrism of his high school. Greg tries to respect everyone in his grade and maintain a thin friendship with all social groups. He is the only exception to the dismissiveness students have towards each other. This branches off from the conflict of Greg versus himself because deciding to spend time with Rachel would lead his classmates to believe he was part
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This was a human being, dying. This was the only time there was going to be someone with those eyes and those ears and that way of breathing through her mouth and that way of building up right before a monster laugh with her eyebrows all raised and her nostrils flaring a little bit. This was the only time there was ever going to be that person, living in the world, and now that was almost over, and I couldn't deal with it” (Andrews Loc. 276). This excerpt shows the characterization of Greg. Also, it shows how his philosophies change over the course of the story as a dynamic character. Over the course of the story, Greg changed from a high school student who didn’t want to waste his time on making Rachel feel better to a stellar friend who realized the meaning of death and how much it mattered to comfort someone in Rachel’s situation. In conclusion, Rachel’s cancer was a symbol of Greg’s change in character. Her illness also represents how much life matters yet how fragile and meticulous people are. Readers will find this to be one of the most beautifully formed passages from the story with writing that illustrates Greg’s change in
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