Boyhood to Manhood”In the story “Shaving,” by Leslie Norris, a sixteen-year-old boy, Barry, adapts and accepts the impending death of his father. Barry’s character and maturity are altered as he deals with the emotional situation before him. The author’s use of physical description, nature, and the ritual of shaving to bolster Barry’s transition from his boyhood to his responsibilities of manhood. Leslie Norris uses the physical characteristics of Barry’s coat, performance in sports, and examples of physical changes from boyhood to manhood. The coat, which is now a very tight fit on Barry’s body, leads him to reevaluate his self-perception. Norris makes this point clear in the opening paragraph, “He flexed his shoulders against the tightness of his jacket and was surprised again by the unexpected weight of his muscles, the thickening strength of his body.
A few years back, he thought, he had been a small unimportant boy, one of a swarming gang laughing and jostling to school, hardly aware that he possessed and identity. But time had transformed him.” Barry is characterized as being tall, athletic, strong, and had adult like characteristics. The author defines Barry’s athletic abilities to be a direct reflection of a person who would appear to be popular among his peers. Norris discussed Barry’s athletic talent as Barry reflects on his recent win, in the following exert, “He thought of the easy certainty with which he’d caught the ball before his second try; casually, almost arrogantly he had taken it on the tips of his fingers, on his full burst for the line, breaking the fullbacks tackle.
Nobody could have stopped him”. After Barry shaved his father, the Norris describes Barry’s hands as, “The fingers were short and strong, the little fingers slightly crooked, and soft dark hair grew on the backs of his hands and his fingers just above the knuckles. Not very long ago they had been small bare hands, not very long ago,” this is where Norris was pointing out the growth rate, at which, Barry had grown since his father had become ill and weak speculating his maturity through growth.”