Theme and message

Growing up

The theme of the short story “Walk Don’t Run” by Douglas Bruton is growing up. 

At 14 years old, the narrator is about to enter adulthood, but she is still a child in many ways. However, she is very eager to grow up and become an adult. She smokes and has an older boyfriend despite her mother’s disapproval (ll. 21-23). She enjoys kissing Johnny but is not ready for a sexual relationship and uncertain about what she should do when Johnny tries to push her in this direction. Conflicted between wanting to keep her boyfriend and not wanting to have sex, she is angered by Johnny’s suggestion that she is still “a child” (l. 112). She does not want to be a child any longer, and his words add pressure on her to start a sexual relationship before she is ready. 

Despite her inability to speak, the grandmother manages to get her point across to the narrator using the same gesture of holding her back by her...

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