The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry

Essay by KerristroaminUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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Fitting In

The square peg in a round whole.

Imagine being a tall, scrawny teenage boy with zits, braces, and a cowlick walking down an overcrowded, inner city school. The boy may not be noticed there, but in a small school, he would be zoomed in on by other teenagers like buzzards. Being a teenager is hard. Growing up in a small town makes it more complicated. Everyone knows everybody else's business. In The Last Picture Show, Larry McMurtry writes from his own personal experience of the hardships teenagers face in small towns. There are three main groups of teenagers in Thalia: the wild kids, the average teens, and the outcasts.

"Larry McMurtry was born on June 3, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas" (Baker 219) He was raised by his father, William Jefferson, and his mother, Hazel Ruth. His father and eight of his uncles were ranchers and cowboys.

He attended high school in Archer City, which was the city that The Last Picture Show is written after. He was married in 1959 to Josephine Scot. They had one son and later divorced in 1966. He attended collage at Rice University where he received a M.A. in 1960. After graduation, he moved to Washington D.C. He focused most of his time on writing. He wrote many books including the Texas Trilogy which consists of: The Last Picture Show in 1966, Texasville in 1987, and Duane's Depressed in 1999. He also began a small chain of book stores of rare books. One of these book stores is located in Archer down the road from the now famous theater.

In The Last Picture Show, McMurtry sarcastically writes about his high school years. It tells a coming of age story of the teenage characters. Despite the personality differences of the teens, their...