Summary Of Zebra By Chaim Potok

897 Words4 Pages

In order to become a thriving young artist, one does not need knowledge on art but needs empathy. In the short story, “Zebra” by Chaim Potok, Zebra had suffered from life changing injuries which forced him to stop doing his passion, running. He is later approached by the artist and veteran, John Wilson who introduces Zebra to art, which changes his life. Zebra had no knowledge of art in the beginning of the story, but the empathy he had received from Mr.Wilson had changed that overtime. To have knowledge about art is not a necessary trait to have when becoming a successful young artist because there are many ways to find out more about subjects and how to thrive in them. In the beginning of Zebra, the injuries caused from his accident restricted …show more content…

“...Even after they all knew that the doctors had told him he would never be able to run like that again. His leg would heal in time, the doctors said, and perhaps in a year or so the brace would come off.” (Potok 137) At that point, Zebra’s passion for running began to die down knowing he would never be able to run like he did previously ever again. He loved running and it was his main hobby. Then he met Mr.Wilson and he became approached with art during Mr.Wilson’s summer art class. He had no knowledge of the subject of art, but later on developed the skill by Mr.Wilson’s encouragement, “But John Wilson didn’t laugh. He held the helicopter in his hand a long moment, turning it this way and that, nodded at Zebra, and placed it on a windowsill, where it shimmered in the sunlight.” (Potok 157) Mr. Wilson’s motivation had encouraged Zebra to attempt to gain more knowledge on art. On the other hand, people may claim that knowledge is necessary in order to be a successful young artist because an individual needs to have an understanding of what they’re …show more content…

Zebra’s mentor, Mr. Wilson, understood him because he has issues with his arm as well and saw that Zebra had potential for his class and art in general. Mr.Wilson wanted to give Zebra a healthy distraction to remind him that just because he was an excellent runner and running was his previous passion doesn’t mean that Zebra should come to the conclusion that running is the only activity he performs well. To begin with, Zebra did not even have one bit of interest in Mr.Wilson nor his art class, “‘I’m giving an art class in your school during the summer.’ ‘I’m going to camp in August,’ Zebra said. ‘There’s the big long month of July.’ ‘I don’t think so,’ Zebra said. ‘Well okay, suit yourself…’” (Potok 145), he was still stuck on the fact that he was not able to run because of his accident. Zebra had denied his offer, yet Mr.Wilson still had hopes of Zebra joining later. Henceforth, Zebra ended up joining Mr.Wilson’s art class even though his art was not outstanding when he started taking the class. Mr.Wilson still gave Zebra hope that he had the potential to become a good artist. Contrarily, people have claimed that empathy isn’t needed when becoming an artist. They say this because they believe people can become a young artist on their own, without

Open Document