The Lost World Darwin Character Analysis

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Personal growth is achieved from the struggles each of us endure throughout life. In the collection of short stories, The Lost World by Michael Chabon, the character traits of the adolescent protagonist, Nathan Shapiro, are revealed through the actions he takes as he faces life’s difficulties. In The Lost World collection, interactions with his family, love interests and friends, all provide evidence of Nathan’s fearful, easily embarrassed, and nostalgic nature. Nathan’s personality, experiences and relationships together explain Nathan’s behavior as he confronts the challenges that occur when facing adulthood, and leaving his youth behind.
In The Lost World, Nathan Shapiro’s characterization is as a generally fearful young man. {He is afraid
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First, in the story Admirals, Nathan’s easy embarrassment is brought to light, when he reacts to an episode between his father and the owner of an expensive, restored antique car that looked “like a small, wheeled mansion.” When Dr. Shapiro, Nathan’s father, walks over to the wealthy car owner, Nathan describes his father as looking “small, wet, bald, and faintly sloppy.” Then, after the owner responds in a curt way to Dr. Shapiro’s reaction to the “fabulous car,” the owner looks away dismissively, and Nathan is humiliated over his dad. Nathan realizes that “his father was a man whom a playboy would shun.” Nathan’s easy embarrassment is also conveyed in the story The Halloween Party. When Nathan first approaches his love interest Eleanor Parnell at her Halloween party, disappointingly she cannot guess the intention of Nathan’s bizarre Halloween costume. Nathan “forced himself to to meet the humiliation of her sympathetic gaze.” Moreover, in the story The Lost World, Nathan’s concern with embarrassment is clearly evident when he quickly stashes a letter inside a birdhouse, written to him by Chaya, instead of letting his friends read it. Nathan is “afraid that its contents might somehow embarrass him,” in the eyes of his peers, so he hides the letter rather than face the possibility of…show more content…
For example, on the first page of the first story, The Little Knife, Nathan’s family trip to Nags Head, North Carolina “filled Nathan with a happy sadness.” The sight of an Automat there, wistfully reminds Nathan of spending days in New York City with his grandmother. “He was not too young at ten, to have developed a sense of nostalgia.” Furthermore, in The Lost World, while contemplating the new families he becomes part of as a result of his parents’ divorce and remarriages, Nathan “was looking for a reason, an excuse to feel so unmoored, at once so angry and nostalgic; and alcohol seemed to be doing the job.” Nathan is trying to come to terms with his parents’ divorce, and is working through the stages of mourning from rage to resignation, by numbing himself in “Old English 800” with his friends. Lastly, also in the story The Lost World, Nathan shows his nostalgic side in a conversation with his love interest, Chaya Feldman. Chaya and Nathan attended the same Hebrew school as children, and perhaps to endear him to her, he recounts a time they shared in class with a comical Hebrew school teacher. “Repeating a favorite, inscrutable admonishment,” Nathan portrays Mrs. Falutnick in “an accent he had not mimicked for six or seven years.” He “became saddened, and he sighed,” sharing this experience of their past, with Chaya. Thus, Nathan’s distinctly nostalgic nature is conveyed in his
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