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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Beauty of Friendship

Madeline Nagel
Gothic Lit, Waggoner
Blog 5, Option 4
The Beauty of Friendship

Friend: someone who you like or enjoy spending time with. Someone you trust. Someone who helps or supports you. Friends can be anyone: your sister or brother, your mom or dad, someone you grew up with, someone you just met, or even your dog or cat. Friendships are a vital part of who we are. They can shape and define us in various ways. They influence us. And they make life more meaningful.
In Ray Bradbury’s, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are two young boys who are best friends. Born only a second apart, these boys have grown up together, live next door to each other, and are inseparable. After reading only the first few chapters of this book, the readers quickly learn the striking personalities of these friends and begin to understand their relationship better. As I read this, I was drawn to Will and Jim’s relationship because it reminded me of my own relationship with a good friend. I was able to relate to Will, realizing that I have several of the same character traits as him. I noticed how Jim embodies many of the same features as my friend, and found myself comparing their relationship to my own.
As one will notice shortly after being introduced to him, Will Halloway is a sensitive, empathetic boy who is less prone to action than Jim. He tends to think before he acts, always considering the potential consequences of his actions. For example, when the boys are exploring Hickory Street, Jim begs Will to go with him to the “Theatre”. Jim is persistent and excited, whereas Will is nervous and scared, “swallowing hard” (Bradbury 27), and seems to have to convince himself to work up the courage to go. As noticed from this example, Jim is quick to think, and even quicker to act. He tends to go with his gut instinct and never ask the opinion of others. Jim believes in freedom above all else, and claims that he will “never own anything that can hurt me” (Bradbury 40). These two tend to be the complete opposite of one another, yet their relationship works. They complement each other well, their personalities balancing each other out:
So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim, Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will’s along, Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim’s watching. God, how we get out fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of the other. (Bradbury 18)
I kept imaging my relationship with my best friend as I read this, and thinking how our personalities also balance each other out. My friend, just like Jim, is quick to act, is outgoing, and loves to be spontaneous and do things. She is quick to build up walls, and is afraid of getting hurt by people. I, on the other hand, am just like Will as I tend to be more cautious, overprotective, and hesitant to spontaneously do things. However, even though we are different, our relationship works. We get each other. We are good for each other, just like Will and Jim: “Will runs because running is its own excuse. Jim runs because something’s up ahead of him. Yet, strangely, they do run together” (Bradbury 17).
            Sometimes, I get discouraged by our relationship because I feel like I am not as adventurous as my friend, not as fun, not as daring. I want to be spontaneous like her, but that is simply just not my personality. I find myself thinking about it often, just like Will:
And running, Will thought, Boy, it’s the same old thing. I talk. Jim runs. I tilt stones, Jim grabs the cold junk under the stones and—lickety-split! I climb hills. Jim yells off church steeples. I got a bank account. Jim’s got the hair on his head, the yell in his mouth, the shirt on his back and the tennis shoes on his feet (Bradbury 48)
I have to remind myself that I am a different person than my friend, and because of that our relationship works. I contribute to the friendship in ways she can’t. And just like Will and Jim, we are not competing for anything: “Nobody won. Nobody wanted to win. It was in their friendship they just wanted to run forever, shadow and shadow…no one losing, both winning, thus saving their friendship for other times of loss” (Bradbury 12). Our friendship isn’t a battle for who can be the better friend. It’s about supporting and loving each other, even through the hard times. I cannot imagine my life without my sweet friend, and wouldn’t change our personalities for anything. She pushes me to be a better person. She makes me laugh. I can tell her anything. And she’ll bring me ice cream when I need to cry. Yes, we have our conflicts, and our personalities get the best of us sometimes, but it works. Just like Will and Jim. It’s a beautiful thing. Friendship is a beautiful thing. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York, Avon Books: 1997. Print. 

(Picture from google images)

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