“Penny in the Dust” by Ernest Buckler Essay Sample

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Pete is a naive protagonist in the story “Penny in the Dust” by Ernest Buckler. When Pete was being imaginative playing with the penny in the dust, he lost the penny, and he had to get his father to help him find it. Pete’s father asked Pete why he was hiding, Pete said ““I wasn’t hiding, father,” I said, “honest – I was – I was burying my penny and making out I was digging up treasure. I was making out I was finding gold. I didn’t know what to do when I lost it, I just didn’t know where to go –“ His head was bent forward, like mere listening. I had to make it truer still. “I made out it was gold,” I said desperately, “and I – I was making out I bought you a mowing machine so’s you could get your work done early every day so’s you and I could go into town in the big automobile I made out I bought and everyone’d turn around and look at us driving down the streets – “ His head was perfectly still, as if he were only waiting with patience for me to finish. “ – laughing and talking – “ I said, louder, smiling intensely, compelling3 him, by the absolute conviction of some true particular, to believe me.

– He looked up then. It was the only time I had ever seen tears in his eyes. I wondered, though, why he hesitated and then put the penny back in his own pocket.” (36-37). The quotation proves how imaginative and benevolent Pete is; furthermore, it shows that Pete did not understand his father’s action, when his father took the penny and kept it. However, when Pete found the penny still shining in his father’s suit before his father’s funeral, as an adult Pete sees the big picture and he understood his father. Pete was naive as a child because he was a child and he did not understand the symbolic of the penny; however, as an adult Pete realize’s that his father kept the penny, knowing now the penny meant a lot to his father. Who would have thought something as small as a penny, could represent a sentimental value to some people.

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