how they have developed and matured.
The essence of a memoir is to look back at one's experience, and see
how they have developed and matured. This is no different in Dave
Eggers fictitious memoir, A Heartbreaking Story of Staggering Genius.
To explore what has changed a person it is important to look at what
most of the person's time was spent doing. In Dave's situation, there
is no shadow of a doubt, at the age of 22, his life revolved around
the security and well being of his little brother Christopher (Toph).
To completely comprehend Eggers growth and maturity, it is essential
to analyze his relationship with his little brother Toph. Father,
mother, brother, all wrapped in one, Dave becoming Toph's guardian
constructed the adult that Eggers would become.
Dave did not become Toph's guardian because he wanted to, but because
he was the one left over. Bill was out getting a job and Beth was
finishing graduate school. Dave immediately tried to overcome the
grief of dealing with two dead parents, and taking care of Toph by
making Toph's and his own lives fun. He spent all of the social
security and inheritance on a nice house; they went out all the time;
singing to song, making of people in the car, playing lots of frisbee
at the beach. He seemed to drown out the sadness of the situation with
their complimentary money. At this point, Dave's feelings still cannot
"It's Friday night and I should be out, across the bay, I should be
out every night with the rest of the young people, fixing my hair,
spilling my beer, trying to get someone to touch my penis.. So yet, I
could be out, enjoying this freedom specifically and that...
... middle of paper ...
... did very
little lecturing (something everyone's parents love to do) and just
let Toph explore life as it came. This is shown when Dave picks up
Toph from the girls house. Toph had played his first game of spin the
bottle. Dave has all these expectations for Toph and was disappointed
to hear that Toph thought nothing special of the girls, but instead of
going into his regrets he had, he just let it be, because Toph will
figure it out.
This seems to be the parenting model in which Dave and Toph's
relationship is about. Dave spent less time sheltering and trying to
mold Toph to his expectations and more time just having fun with him.
This created Toph to become an independent and responsible child.
Because Toph was not a conventional parent, some may argue that Dave
has little responsibility in Toph's maturing, but don't tell Dave,
"parent almighty", so.
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