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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blaire Pickens- The Lonesome Place: Blog 4

In August Derleth’s “The Lonesome Place,” Steve is a little boy at the tender age of 6 years old. His mother, however, thinks that he is old enough to walk down to the store by himself so when she forgets milk, sugar or bread at the store she makes her son go instead of her husband or going on her own. The story is about fear breeding fear, as every time he must go to the store he has to pass by “the lonesome place” a block away from his house. The lonesome place was terrifying to Steve and also to his friend Johnny Newell who sometimes had to pass by it too. Steve described it as “half a block long, black as black could be, dark as the deepest night, with the shadows of the trees making it a solid place of darkness, with the faint glow of light where a streetlight pooled at the end of the street, far away it seemed, and that other glow behind, where the other corner light lay.” This story by August Derleth reminds me of all of the news stories and articles I hear about young children being on the their own with no one watching over them simply because their parents are ignorant or lackadaisical. One of these new stories was from Tulsa, Oklahoma where a 3-year-old boy was found walking alone and the mother will not face charges. Even though the boy said he was walking to the store because he was hungry. Any parent who takes a risk with their child’s safety should understand what kind of danger children can be put into when they go without supervision. In “The Lonesome Place,” Steve’s mother tries to use irrelevant details to justify her forcing her son to go to the market. When Steve tries to tell his mother he isn’t big enough to go she answers with “Oh, shush! You’re a big boy now. You’re going to be seven years old. Just think of it. Your Sears Roebuck pants are long ones.” This is not a viable reason to let someone who is not even 7 years old walk somewhere out of the house to go anywhere. And in the same way it is not okay for a 3 year old to be left at home alone unattended and without a babysitter.

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