Dr. Jack-O-Lantern, by Richard Yates

Essay by smilesf0rsaleCollege, UndergraduateB, March 2008

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Struggle for acceptance in the “coming of age” story, Dr. Jack-O-Lantern, by Richard Yates the main character Vincent Sabella faces struggles that force him to become a rebellious adolescent. Yates’ depiction of Vincent represents the maturation process of a ten year old orphan boy who grew up in New York and moved to a new city, enrolled in a new school, and had to make new friends. Vincent can be described as a quiet child with poor hygiene who became lonely and rebellious after moving to his new school.

Coming from an orphanage, Vincent wasn’t able to have someone around him that made sure his hygiene was taken care of. When Vincent arrived at his new school, his school mates made fun of him because “he made an unintelligible croak and smiled fleetingly, just enough to show that the roots of his teeth were green” (Yates). Not only were his teeth green, the clothes he went to school with were “absurdly new corduroys, absurdly old sneakers and a yellow sweatshirt, much too small, with the shredded remains of a Mickey Mouse design stamped on its chest” (Yates).

The ridicule that Vincent had to face from his classmates made him a very lonely and depressed child.

Along with having bad hygiene, Vincent became lonely and depressed.

His first day at his new school “he stayed on the apron of the playground, close to school, and for the first part of the recess he pretended to be very busy with the laces of his sneakers” (Yates). None of Vincent’s school mates wanted to play with him. During class, Vincent gave a report to his class about his weekend. He made up a story about getting chased by the police on Saturday and his classmates began to catch on to his exaggeration. “Recess...