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The New Girl Analyze

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Analysis and interpretation of “The new Girl”

Allison is a girl at the age of ten, who lives on Prospect Street with her parents and likes to play with Barbies and listen to Hall and Oates. Prospect Street is a street placed in a lower middle-class white neighborhood, where most of the houses are about seventy years old. In the start of the story the environment is described: It’s a hot day, the sun is shinning and everything is burning. The burning part is a symbol of this intense conflict, which is about to appear later in the text between the new girl, the narrator and Allison.
Allison’s mother does not like the new neighbors, it seems. She is prejudiced against them, because of the color of their skin. She thinks that they are going to ruin their house, meaning that the new neighbors will make the prices of the neighborhood fall, because no white person wants to share the same street with a ‘nigger.’ Allison has of course inherited the same hatred towards African Americans. You see that clearly in the text; “I said get out of here, nigger, or I’ll beat you up.”
As for the narrator: he doesn’t feel that same spitefulness that Allison and her mother have for African Americans, at all. I am by the way assuming that the narrator is a boy, from the three facts that the narrator doesn’t share Allison’s interest in Barbies, they have been pretending to be married and then there is the fact that they are already friends, yet the narrator is wondering if she likes him. The narrator is a boy on eight and he lives with his family on Prospect Street as well as Allison. He and Allison are the only kids around at the block so they’ve automatically become “best friend.”
When the narrator meets the new girl standing with her bike on the middle of Prospect Street he finds her friendly, perhaps even cute, so he smiles at her and she smiles back with an expansive smile. Allison, on the other hand, does not find the little girl very friendly and because of her hate for people with black skin, she chooses to threaten her harshly. The reason why the new girl is smiling an expansive smile is because it requires a lot of courage to bike over to them. African Americans weren’t completely accepted back in those days and you could imagine that she was aware of that; perhaps she has even experienced it.
The narrator has until this point proven to like the girl, so one would think that he would defend her, but instead he chooses to stare down at the little girl just like Allison does. The reason why he does this is because he looks up to Allison and therefor he feels a sort of peer pressure in this situation, yet he can’t face her and look her in the eyes. The non eye contact part is a proof of how he is not feeling good about showing the girl that he does not like her and that’s because that he like her. Before he makes the decision you get a description of the surroundings: “the sunlight was burning in the strands that had come loose from her ponytail, giving her a sort of halo. The water hit me between the shoulder pushing me forward with each blast.” Here we have a symbol that sort of shows us what is going through his head, right before he makes that awful decision.
The girl moved a couple of months later and he never got to say that he was truly sorry, which he with no doubt was – “the knot in my stomach swelled and grew tighter until it became impossible to untie.” The knot is a symbol of how bad he feels about the way he threats the new girl, and when she leaves, the innocence that he lost when he choose to be mean against her is now lost forever, because she is gone forever. Loss of innocence is therefor one of the themes in the story. When he makes his decision (being mean, just like Allison) something in side of him is lost and he is not aware of it until later on, because he is so young. He doesn’t know what he is doing, so therefor he looses his innocence. Another theme in the story is initiation, which is when you step in to the something like adulthood. When Allison joins in, a conflict suddenly appears between the three of them, a conflict where he will have to choose side. The main theme is racism and whether he will accept it or avoid it.
The meeting with the girl signifies this huge personal scar that the narrator gets after hurting this poor girl, after twenty years he still thinks about the girl and her mother and is ashamed of the thought and of knowing that he not only wounded him self, but them as well.

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