Bullying, harassment and victimization; lots of words define the repeated acts of emotional, verbal or physical character. However, common for all, is the feeling of uselessness and great despair hitting the bully victim both during and after the violations. That is, because jeering digs deeply. It tears people down and leaves them with everlasting scars both on the inside and on the outside and when taking place during the growth of an unsupported child it only hits harder.
A similar issue is being touched in the novel, About a Boy, in which a childs rough experiences of being left out, overheard and patrolled are described. The text is written from a third angle, but through inner thoughts, sensory perceptions and reactions a thorough characterization of the main character, named Marcus, can be made.
Marcus is a scholar at the age of 12. He lives alone with his mother, whos, according to him, a little off. In the text, Marcus has just moved from a school in Cambridge to a school in London. In fact, he has only been there for one day, when the excerpt of the novel begins, but hes already been stampeded as an outcast, which is probably because of his introverted behavior and his appearance. This, he blames both himself and his mother for. He knows that hes a bit eccentric himself, but when it comes to clothing and things to be allowed to do, his mother is definitely giving him obstacles. Despite his lack of social prowess, Marcus doesnt seem unintelligent. He appears to be rather bright, which is, among other things, shown by his flow of thoughts that seem profound and finely formulated.
An outright description of Marcus mother does not appear in the text. Shes only delineated by Marcus, who thinks shes weird, because she doesnt understand any of the subjects, he broaches up. In his opinion, she is very outmoded. She wont let him listen to popular music or play computer games, and as compensation, books and tunes of Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley are thrown at him.
Seen from the sideline, Marcus mother doesnt appear to be considerate of others. She seems rather selfish and slightly unable to feel empathy, which is shown by the way she deals with Marcus problems. She waves them away with lines that are great on the paper and works for herself, but just dont help him in his situation. This is exemplified in the below-mentioned excerpt:
Also, a scent of the condition in their relationship is given in the above-mentioned excerpt. The mother doesnt appear to be consolatory, and as Marcus says, she doesnt take the time to have a talk with him about his problems. Shes no prop to him, and the close mother-son relationship is almost non-existent.
The ending of the excerpt of the novel, About a Boy, is spectacular. It fades out in an English class, where a text is being analyzed by the students. The young teacher, Miss Maguire, who seems to be a bit inexperienced when it comes to teaching and dealing with juveniles, asks the question of how being mad can be described. One of the students refers to an episode, where Marcus all of a sudden sang out loud in class and categorizes this as being a bit mad. The other children start laughing hysterically - and so does the teacher.
At this point, a picture of an almost unrealistically awful school strikes the reader. Not only do the children jeer the outcasts, but the teacher doesnt have the nerve to stop it. Instead, she takes advantage of Marcus situation in order to make herself look strong in front of the class and by this act, the bullying is taken to the next level.
The ending is therefore heartbreaking. The boy is being victimized flagrantly, and his last hope, the class room, where he used to be safe from the bullying, has now turned into a jeering place thats even worse than the hall way and the school yard. That is, because his teacher has given in for the bullying.
From this point, Marcus is definitely left on his own, and the blackening of his future is almost pictured perfectly in the very last line, where the boy says that he knows whats yet to come. Hes all alone, uncomforted by his mother, whos more interested in keeping her standards and way of living instead of helping him. Then, no ones to help Marcus out. Hes a bully victim; an outcast or nearer just a boy.