Bless The Beasts And Children

             The novel, Bless the Beasts and Children, by Glendon Swarthout has a theme of the progression of the Bedwetters. These are kids who are ostracized because of their lack of physical abilities. Their individualistic actions are eliminated as the novel progresses. Before the group changed to a fully functional group one could find clues of these individualistic acts such as when the Bedwetters attempt to steal the buffalo head from one of the other cabins. John Cotton’s, the leader of the Bedwetters, at first refuses to compromise and allow the group to get food. When he does compromise, the Bedwetters begin their progression. Finally the event in which the Bedwetters free the buffalo shows them as a fully functional group.
             The group’s individualism is shown when they attempt to steal the buffalo head from the Apaches. “They botched it”(pg. 60) describes the Bedwetters’ attempt. Goodenow and Lally 2 set the group off on the wrong foot after one has giggled and the other trips on a root. Teft and Shecker, being the strongest, were the ones to enter the Apaches’ cabin and take the trophy down. Once, successfully having entered the cabin, Shecker being “clumsier than a cub bear” catches the power switch to his radio on a piece of elastic. This causes all the campers to wake up and tackle the Bedwetters. The Bedwetters are tied to a tree and the Apaches urinate in their chamber pot. If their actions had properly been planned and the six of them worked together, the Bedwetters would have been successful. However, that was not the case and it showed. All but one of the six began to cry. If the group had been one whole, they would have used each other’s strength to keep from crying. The Bedwetters learn from this event in which they are greatly humiliated. When the next time approached with a way they could better work together, they will. Clearly, the Buffalo Head incident has started the Bedwetters on their way.

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Bless The Beasts And Children. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:57, January 17, 2017, from