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'The Genius' by Frank O'Connor

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  • Essay length: 1707 words
  • Submitted: 06/06/2005
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AS and A Level Classics

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'The Genius' by Frank O'Connor

The boy's personality and his intelligence are swiftly established in the opening paragraph. His mother is presented as being a strong influence on him and appears as a kind of 'ally' against the rough children - 'savages' as she describes them - that live and play in the area. It is clear that she encourages him to regard himself as 'different' and separate from them, but it is equally obvious that he is not anxious to associate with them anyway. He describes himself as "a cissy by conviction" and says that he regarded the idea of fighting as both unattractive and 'dangerous'. He avoids rough games and prefers the company of girls to boys only because "they don't fight so much".

Religion seems to play an unusually important role in his life and it seems probable that this is a reflection of his close relationship with Miss Cooney. He himself uses "our Blessed Lord" as a kind of defence against bullies who might otherwise 'hammer' his head on the pavement. It is evident from the way he uses argument that he is unusually articulate for his age, and this is

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