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One's A Heifer

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Alexandra Badder

on 25 September 2015

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Transcript of One's A Heifer

Point of View:
First Person
Type Of Character:
The Man
Character Traits:
The boy
One's A Heifer
The story takes place on a farm following a blizzard in the winter.
"...when the blizzard stopped and still..." (pg 176)

It is quite evident that during this time they were completely dependent on their farmland. A missing cow could have a big impact on their survival.
"There's no use coming home without them." (176)

The social background of this story has strong gender roles, whereas the women takes care of the household and the men tend to the farm work.
Inciting Force: The inciting occurs when the boy sets off in search of his cattle. This sparks the conflict that is about to occur. This is the first main action that guides the plot of the story.

Climax: The climax occurs when the boy carries out his plan and attempts to reclaim his cattle. However, he realizes the cattle are not there and he has to make a quick escape.

Conclusion: The climax is when the boy returns home and realizes the cows were close by all along.
Man vs. Man
He is in conflict with the man because he is trying to outsmart him in order to get his cattle back.
A character trait associated with the boy is bravery. He ventured off on his own at the young age of thirteen. He eventually plotted against the man and attempted to outsmart him.
"In a few minutes I could follow him and perhaps taking advantage of the shadows and his smoky lantern, make my way to the box-stall unobserved." (pg 183)
Character Trait:
The Man
A character trait associated with the man is loneliness. He suffers from cabin fever, and hasn't had good company in a long time. He craves the company of the young boy.
"It takes a woman..." (pg 182)
"I remember hearing my uncle talk about a man who had gone crazy living alone." (pg 183)
This story is written in first person. The boy is telling the story from his main character position. We get an internal look at his thoughts and emotions, therefore allowing us to have a better understand of what is unfolding.
The theme of this story is "the coming of age."
The boy is transitioning into a man by going off on his own for the first time. He is able to develop real life experiences and see the world for himself. He becomes less naive by realizing that not everyone is good, and in order to survive one must be skeptical.
The man is a round character because throughout the night he shows different qualities of himself. He shows that he is a standoff man who is a bit strange, maybe even insane. He also shows that he is lonely, possibly suffering from cabin fever. He rarely has any visitors because he at first seems cold as he is glaring and shouting but as the night drags on he confides in the boy that he is lonely because no one comes around anymore.
Type Of Character:
The Boy
However there seems to be other possible reasons as to why he doesn't have many visitors.

The boy is a developing character because the story shows his transition from boy to man. His mission to find the cattle quickly becomes a realization that the world is a scary place. To survive in the world you cannot be naive and you have to trust your instincts.

He was once an innocent boy who in the end learned that the world is not what is envisioned in the young mind of a thirteen year old boy.

However, if you chose not to be skeptical there is another possible theme. The second theme of the story is to not make assumptions. When reading the story we infer that the man murdered the woman who stayed with him. At first glance, he is cold, mean, secretive and regularly speaks badly of the woman who cooked for him. These characteristics lead the reader to jump to the conclusion that he is a murderer, however the man has reason to be upset. In the beginning the narrator has trespassed on his property giving him the right to be hostile and angry. The man lives alone and has had “no one [at his house for] quite a while,” (pg.188) and has lost his ability to interact with others. When being secretive of the stall the reader assumes there is a body hidden but he is being protective of the narrator and warns him, “there’s a hole in the floor [...] you might step into it and twist your foot,” (pg.181). If the man is judged too quickly he is labeled as a murderer but when the time is taken to empathize with him it is no longer clear that he has committed any crime.
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