In this paper, I want to focus my analysis in answering the following questions: 1. How effective is the narration (use of first person point of view)? 2. How did the style (diction, language, etc.) reveal the characters? 3. What are the deeper implications of the main character’s perception of his mother’s beliefs? 4. How does keeping secrets put one above others? And 5. Who is the real brother’s keeper?
Umpire or Paul, is the main character and at the same time the narrator of the story. This gives the reader an easy access to his thoughts and feelings and inevitably draws the reader to understand, if not empathise with what the main character undergoes. The insecurity of the main character is revealed in his constant comparison and contrast of himself with that of the little boy David. At sixteen, he has never been to a dentist while the little boy has gold fillings (438); he has never had a trophy while the boy has many (435); his uncle hugs the boy but he only gets beatings from him (435); the boy has new clothes and shoes and even his father’s watch that was promised to him but he has no shoes and has worn out clothes (434); the boy is fair-skinned while he is dark (435); etc. It seems that David has all the better things but one thing Umpire has that he does not want to share with David is his mother. “I tell him that if him ever call her Ma in front of me again, I don’t care what Uncle George would do to me, I was going to beat the shit out of him” (437). It is the only thing he has that he can be proud of, that the boy does not have. The first person narration makes the reader actively participate in the events unconsciously and makes the reading more like a personal experience.
The style, diction and language used in the narration speaks well of the personality and consciousness of the main character as well as his