The Stone Boy

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen “The Stone Boy”  af Gina Berriault. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering. 

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “The Stone Boy” (1957)
Forfatter: Gina Berriault
Genre: Short story

Gina Berriault (1926-1999) var en amerikansk forfatter, som skrev både litteratur og manuskripter. Hun blev kendt i offentligheden efter hendes novelle “The Stone Boy” blev filmatiseret i 1984.


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The short story by Gina Berriault is titled “The Stone Boy”, which initially does not reveal much about what the narrative is going to be about. The title is intriguing, as it suggests the story is going to be about a boy, but it does not reveal anything about how he is like “stone”. After reading the story, we realize that the title is a reference to the way in which Arnold reacts upon accidentally killing his older brother, Eugene – in an unemotional way, as though he is “made of stone”. The phrase “made of stone” is an idiom used to refer to someone who does not show or perhaps even feel any emotion.

The meaning of the title is suggested in the scene where Arnold is questioned by the sheriff, who concludes that the boy may be either stupid or not able to feel or to care (p. 6, ll. 15-18). The word “stone” can be associated with Arnold’s reaction: he seems unaffected by his brother’s death and his own role in it, and he does not display any kind of remorse. Towards the story’s ending, however, we realize that Arnold is, in fact, terrified that he has lost his brother (p. 8, ll. 25-28).

Despite the fact that Arnold is only a child, the others’ reactions and behavior towards him make him believe that he is, indeed, made of stone. Their failure to understand him or ask him about his feelings seems to contribute to him losing his emotional connection to his family.

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The Stone Boy

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