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"Crabbe" by William Bell
Transcript of "Crabbe" by William Bell
Franklin Crabbe is a troubled teenager who is in need of enlightenment. Through the novel,
by William Bell, we see his journey of battling mental illness, discovering himself, and maturing.
"You write like a poet and your I.Q. is higher than mine, which is 150." (33)
Monday November 16, 2015
"I had to go in. I owed it to them. And to myself." (160)
"It was to be the one perfect act I'd perform in my life, pure, clean, like the edge of a razor." (19)
"So I began to prepare for my escape, a little depressed, a little scared, and a little under the care of Silent Sam." (29)
Franklin Crabbe struggles with depression, in particular during the beginning of the novel. We see him in a depressed state where he is turning to alcohol (what he refers to as 'Silent Sam') to solve his problems. Crabbe struggles to feel as if he belongs with his parents, classmates, and teachers. He feels extremely lonely and focuses on alcohol as his 'escape.' His struggle with depression is evident in the novel as we see him drinking at school.
"Where was Silent Sam when I really needed him? How good would it feel -- to have him soothing me, dissolving the angels and edges from my anxiety and depression." (57)
"I rolled her over, cut the ropes, picked up her coat from the floor and led her out of there." (112)
"I took a bearing with the compass, said 'Goodbye, Mary,' to the flames that crackled and raged, and turned and left the place." (120)
"On and on we trudged in an impossible attempt to go quickly; tripping, slapped by dripping branches, tired, wet, very cold. I never let go of her except when I fell, or she did." (114)
"Well, I was ready to take the responsibility. No more complaints about how hard done by I was. Hell, if I could make it out of this storm I could handle the rest of it." (137)
"Since I planned to carry only one pack, I took another and cut it up and, in the fading light, I made a crude pair of leggings that tied on just above my knees." (131)
"In the bush, if you don't take responsibility for yourself you just don't last. You go home hating the place or you don't make it back at all." (137)
Crabbe's maturity level changes drastically throughout the novel. At the beginning of the novel, we see Crabbe putting the blame on his parents for running away. By the end of the novel, we see Crabbe's transformation when he faces his parents and takes responsibility for his actions. Being with Mary in the woods allowed Crabbe to learn and grow as a human being.
Crabbe going to the woods in general was a very risky and life altering decision. Overall, the experience was bound to be extremely scary for Crabbe. Despite the way he might of felt, he was able to be brave for Mary when she truly needed him. Crabbe was brave enough to get Mary out of the building when she was trapped, risking his own safety. He also built up the courage and bravery to burn Mary's body after she died in order to preserve her life memory.
Crabbe's intelligence stretches far beyond books, as we see throughout this book during his time in the wilderness. He is intelligent on many different levels and puts them all to use. He is able to make his own clothing to protect himself from harsh weather conditions. Crabbe also learns fairly quickly how to read a map and compass in order to be able to travel in specific directions without getting lost.
"Oh, I like to blame them, blame them all. But it was me." (88)
"'Yes, you were safe. But you didn't know that, Crabbe. Don't miss the point. Your accomplishment was the same. You did it. Now the forest needn't be a terrible mystery to you.'" (89)
"I moved my hands from her shoulders and hugged her. She held me tightly for a long time and we both cried." (99)
Crabbe has a very caring personality and especially shows this side of him when he is with Mary. Although he struggles with feeling accepted, he shows Mary that he truly cares about her. As Mary and Crabbe are running to get away from the hunters, he remains by her side and helps her through the rough climate conditions. Like he says in the quote, he never let go of her. They shared a deep bond that represented the care they showed one another.