Analysis of The Intruder

Length: 3 Pages 676 Words

A shocking coming of age lies at the heart of Andre Dubus' short story, "The Intruder." Kenneth wants to be loved by his sister as much as he loves her and through this desire, Dubus skillfully demonstrates how an active imagination can be dangerous. Dubus makes us aware of Kenneth's love for his sister in the first line of the story when Kenneth escapes to the woods to dream. We know that Kenneth loves two things, being in the woods, where he can dream, and also being alone with his sister. We also understand that their relationship was more than just sibling affection when Dubus writes: She was the most beautiful girl he knew. She was also the only person with whom, for his entire life, he had been perfectly at ease. He could be silent with her or he could say whatever occurred to him and he never had to think about it first to assure himself that it was not foolish or, worse, uninteresting" (Dubus 199). He is completely taken Continue...


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But she never saw him with his classmates. We also know that he admired his sister and enjoyed his relationship with her. We are told, he envisions a "large, bearded man standing in the pines trees thirty yards from Connie's room, studying the house and deciding which window to use" (205). In conclusion, this story represents Kenneth's shocking coming of age. with his sister and all that she does. This is because he is still young and also because he loves his sister and thinks the best of her. Dubus is not only establishing the love Kenneth feels for Connie, but also the respect he has for her. He blames the gun and by throwing it in the river, he becomes the hero he could not become in real life. It is also important to note that when he hears the noise outside the first things he considers is "He's by the pines in front of Connie's room" (205). This line is important because it is part of the reason that Kenneth wants to protect his sister from the prowler. If he could shoot a prowler, she would always love him. He thinks of his rifle and says to himself, "I'll throw it in the creek tomorrow, I never want to see it again" (207). In addition, he also notices that she looks as if she had been smoking for a long time, possibly the entire summer they had been at camp and he never knew, and he was hurt (201). He does not begin to conceive of the idea that Douglas would be sneaking back to Connie's room.

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