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Of White Hairs and Cricket

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Olivia Bisbee

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Of White Hairs and Cricket

Of White Hairs and Cricket
Growing Up and Loss of Innocence
Characters used to present the theme.
The Father (Daddy)- "...and for all [Daddy's] white hairs that I was powerless to stop." (p.359)
-He realizes that he cannot slow down or stop his father (and others he loves) from aging and eventually dying.
-This is something that children realize as they get older, and is often a traumatic experience as it is for the boy.
-He calls his father "Daddy" which shows how childish he really is, because it is something that usually only young children call their parents.
- He realizes that he does not have the ability to always keep his family with him.

Characters used to develop the theme (cont.)
Viraf's Father- "the stone-grey face of Viraf's father." (p.358)
-Seeing him prompted the boy to realize see that the people closest to him could die any time. If Viraf' father could be taken away so easily, his could as well.
-Stone-grey implies death, because a person with a grey face has no life left in them. It is also the color of a tombstone, which is the fate Viraf's father is heading towards.
Motifs
Calenders: "[The Murphy Radio Calender was] worn and turned inward" (p351)
-The calenders represent the passing of time, and serve as a reminder that it cannot be stopped.
-The boy's life is full of calenders, reminding him that he and his family are getting older, no matter how much they deny it.
-The Murphy calender, which appears to be their favorite, is so old that it was turning inwards and starting to rip and curl. It was "worn", or tired and past its prime.
-Most families would get rid of old calenders, but the boy's family keeps them to pretend that he, and the rest of them, are not growing older.

Details
"I noticed the lines on his brow, like Daddy's" (p358)
The boy sees similarities between his father and his friends dying father. People develop "lines", or wrinkles, on their foreheads as they age. It is important that the boy realized this because it shows that he is losing the innocent and childish notion that his father will always be young.
THANK YOU!
By:
Olivia B., Farrah, Adrien, Daniel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzskiJxcGT8&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0AGmQVGG3M&sns=em
Start second at 3: 10 (old lady) while other start at 1:10 (little girl)
It is shown in 'Of White Hairs and Cricket', by Rohinton Mistry, that growing up is inevitable and that children will eventually lose their innocent notions of the world.
Symbols
Murphy baby- "Innocent and joyous" (p358) "Cherubic" (p350)
-The Murphy baby is a symbol of innocence and childhood, which is something that the boy is losing. His parents keep the picture, showing that they desperately want their son to remain young, and free from the problems and difficulties that growing up brings.
-The baby in the photo is perpetually carefree and young. It is 'joyous' as only children are, because they do not have to worry about anything, and are sheltered from any harsh realities. "Cherubic" implies young and angelic, which is something that the boy will not always be.
Symbols
Cricket- "It has been such a long time since we last played cricket... One by one, the things I held dear were leaving my life." (p355)
-Cricket symbolizes the boy's childhood, and when he stops playing he begins to grow up, and lose his childhood.
-Cricket was "dear" to him, similar to his family, and the absence of it was his first heartache. He says that it was "leaving" his life, as if it were a person instead of simply a game. This shows his emotional attachment to it. However, he will most likely grow out of it, as his older brother did.

Symbols (cont.)
White hairs- "Each Sunday, the elimination of white hairs took longer than the last time." (p350)
-The father's white hairs represent his age, and the boy has to pluck them, showing that his father is in denial of his own aging. The boy lives with someone who refuses to accept the inevitability of age, and this in turn inhibits him from realizing that he is growing up and is no longer a child.

-His father wants him to "eliminate" the hairs, or to completely get rid of them. What both of them refuse to admit is that by the next week, more will have grown, and getting rid of them will not keep them from coming back.

-At the end of the story, the boy is desperate to get rid of his father's white hairs, because he has realised that his father is aging and wants to do whatever he can to prevent him from doing so.
The boy's father's white hairs are described as "the signposts of mortality". (p350)
-This shows how afraid the father is of dying, and that he regards his white hairs as warnings of death.
-The hairs are described as "signposts" because they are as noticeable as the posts that line highways. It is as if they are lining the way to death. They are physical representations of his mortality.
Details (cont.)
"How tired he looked, and how his shoulders drooped; his gait lacked confidence, and I'd never noticed that before." (359)
-The author portrays the boy's loss of innocence by having him notice his father's age at the end of the story, once he has seen the declining state of his friend's father. He sees that his father is not as young and full of life as he pretends, and this deeply affects his son.
-His father, who he had always viewed as strong and proud, "lacked confidence," and was "tired", because his true age could not be hidden behind bravado. This sudden realization of how old his beloved, worshiped father really was caused the boy to lose some of his childish belief in the hero-like qualities of his parent.
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