Val

Outer characterization

Val is one of the key characters in the short story “The Hall of Small Mammals” by Thomas Pierce. His full name is Valentine Creel. He is a 12-year-old boy and the son of the narrator’s girlfriend.

According to the narrator’s brief physical description of Val, he has “flat dry hair”, “tube socks”, and “white hairless legs” (l. 61). The description is superficial, and it enforces the narrator’s impression of him already having “the look of a middle-age government employee.” (l. 62). Later we learn that Val also wears glasses. According to the narrator, he does not look like his mother (ll. 62-63).

Val has diabetes and carries insulin shots – which he administers himself - in his backpack, along with a supply of candy and other food, a metal water bottle, and the screenplay he is writing.

Inner characterization

Since we only see Val through the eyes of the narrator (and briefly, through the eyes of the zoo official when he remarks that Val does not have any respect), we can only guess at his thoughts and personality by studying his actions.

Val ap...

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