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The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream
Transcript of The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream
The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream
By Olive Senior
The story is about a boy named Benjy and his obsession for ice cream. His family does not have much money and they are all getting ready to go to the Harvest Festival. Benjy is excited as it will be where he is able to taste ice cream for the first time. His sister describes it to him and makes him even more eager to try it. Benjy's father also has an obsession as he thinks his wife has been cheating on him ever since she left town to care for her mother in Springville. He is unfair to Benjy because he doesn't believe that he is his son, but a product of his wife's dishonesty when she was away. Both of their obsessions come together at the end when Benjy is about to taste his ice cream and his father sees a man talking to his wife. He pulls Benjy along to confront them and Benjy drops his ice cream in the process.
The story takes place in a small town called One Eye in Jamaica, which is where the family lives, as well as the town of Springville which is where the festival is held.
Benjy - The second youngest child of the family. His desire to finally taste ice cream shows us that he is an ambitious character.
Elsa - Describes ice cream to Benjy which sparks his obsession. She is the eldest child so she takes care of the younger ones when her mother is busy.
Mother - Also known as Ms. Mae, she is kind, sociable and always open to change.
Father - Also known as Mr. Seeter, he is a farmer who prefers a predictable lifestyle unlike his wife. He has a jealous personality and thinks that his wife is cheating on him.
Beatrice - The baby of the family.
The father is jealous of his wife's activities. He believes that she has been having an affair ever since she went away to Springville to aid her sick mother. He denies Benjy being his biological son because of this and treats him badly as a result. He keeps a close watch on his wife at the Harvest Festival to make sure that she is not talking to any other men.
Benjy's desire to taste ice cream is his main objective in the story. His father's desire is to find the man who his wife is cheating on him with at the festival. Both of these desires go hand in hand as they collide at the end.
Coming of Age:
When Benjy drops his ice cream, he experiences a sense of loss and it changes him. Even the whole atmosphere shifts, signifying the change within him as well.
Imagery: Elsa, Benjy's older sister, describes what ice cream is like to him. She describes the different colours and flavours which makes him crave it more.
Mood: Sympathetic - The family is poor and doesn't have the best lifestyle. Benjy also never gets the ice cream so we sympathize with the family as well as his disappointment.
Symbol: The Ice Cream - Symbolizes a strong desire for something as well as the loss of something. Benjy expected something to happen and the opposite happened instead.
Simile: When Elsa describes the ice cream, she says that it is like a beautiful dream.
"and he cannot understand why the sky which was pink and mauve just like the ice cream is now swimming in his vision like one swollen blanket of rain."
The sky is the same colours as the ice cream before Benjy drops it which signifies that his desire is fulfilled temporarily, but as soon as the ice cream falls, the sky goes dull, signifying loss and disappointment.
"It was hot and cold. Both at the same time. You didn't chew it, but if you held it on your tongue long enough it vanished, leaving an after-trace that lingered like a beautiful dream." Pg.127
Elsa's description of ice cream to Benjy makes it seem even more amazing to him and it also forshadows the importance of the ice cream throughout the rest of the story.
Connection With Shabine, Emma and The Day The World Almost Came To An End
- Mood: Both of the moods are sympathetic. We feel sorry for the narrarator in Shabine and we feel sorry for the family, particularly Benjy in The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream.
-Coming of Age: Emma's death in Emma, causes Dory to lose her innocence and grow up without her mother. In The Day The World Almost Came To An End, the narrator sees life differently after the main occurence in the story. When Benjy never gets to taste his ice cream, reality hits him in the same way and he also grows up. He does not physically get older at that moment in time, but a loss of innocence takes place.