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Wendell Berry - the Hurt Man

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The Hurt Man

Life is full of loss and you cannot avoid experiencing it and well as sorrow. As people grow up they come to realize that the world is not as it seemed to be when they were younger. They get more independent and their perspective of life changes. They will have to realize that they are not going to live forever. In the short story The Hurt Man, written by Wendell Berry and published in 2003, we meet Mat who learns all of this.

During the short story Mat is growing up. He is born unexpected but he is still very much appreciated. His parents watch him closely so he does not get hurt but this change as he becomes older. At the age of five, the household gets busier and Mat is now more independent.
“[...] he was curious and active, when he would be out of their sight. He would stray off to where something was happening, to the farm buildings behind the house, to the blacksmith shop, to one of the saloons, to wherever the other boys were.” (ll. 31-34)
This is a perfect example of a child’s natural and healthy development. In line with them getting older their curiosity and independence increase. They do more and more stuff on their own without their parents supervision. It can be extremely difficult for the parents to let go of their children but the importance of it is huge. The difficulty comes, amongst other things, with the world being filled with danger and threats. Mat’s mother, Nancy, is doing a good job even though she has experienced a mother’s worst fear - losing a child. Not only has she lost one child but three. However, this does not dominate her way of living. “But in spite of her losses, Nancy Beechum Feltner was not a frightened woman. [...] she was a woman of practical good sense and strong cheerfulness.” (ll. 37-28 and l 40)
She continues her life without being depressed and miserable. She still let Mat be on his own despite…...

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