The Life Of Lincoln West

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The Life Of Lincoln West

"It comforted him. For almost four years it meant a lot to him," ends the short story, "The Life of Lincoln West" by Gwendolyn Brooks. This quote suggests that the eleven-year-old Lincoln commits suicide. Why would he do this? Because of the crushing rejection of Lincoln by his parents, teacher, friends, and strangers, he ends his life.

Although it may be hard to believe, Lincoln was rejected by his own family. His father couldn't stand to look at Lincoln. He tried very hard to please his father but was not successful. His mother put him with her hairpins and sweethearts, dance slippers, and torn paper roses. She didn't think of her own child as anymore important than these insignificant objects. His parents didn't love him because of the way he looked. Holidays with his family were ruined because his family members couldn't believe that he was so ugly. They felt resentment about him.

Lincoln loved his kindergarten teacher but her only concern for Lincoln was one part sympathy and two parts repulsion. It was even difficult for her to be polite to Lincoln because of the way he looked. She did a nice thing for Lincoln one day after school by walking him home. The only reason she walked Lincoln home from school was

because she felt pity for him. After she started walking him home she regretted it.

Children need other children to grow up with and have fun with. Lincoln only had this with his neighbor friends when there wasn't anyone else around. They were nice to him and played with him but when other kids were around they acted like they weren't his friend. The kids on the playground wouldn't let him touch them and wouldn't be

it when he caught them while they played tag. Lincoln had no real friends. No one liked him.

Even strangers walking down the street would look at Lincoln and point and stare. In the movie theatre with his mother one day a man pointed Lincoln out and called him "Black, ugly and odd." They said that he was "The real thing." Lincoln found happiness in this statement. "The real thing" made him feel like he was special, a somebody.
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