Big Nate: Makes a Splash by Lincoln Peirce

By Lincoln Peirce

Expect Nate Wright to stir issues up and make his front with a splash!

Aspiring cartoonist Nate Wright is the big name of huge Nate, the day-by-day and Sunday caricature. As a favored middle-grade booklet personality, Nate is eleven years previous, four-and-a-half toes tall, and the best-ever list holder for detentions in class heritage. He's a self-described genius and 6th grade Renaissance guy. Nate, who lives together with his dad and older sister, enjoys pestering his kinfolk and lecturers together with his sarcasm.

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Like Tolkien’s Sauron, the chief incarnation of evil in this work is a symbol without substance, the dark Rider, to whom infinite but non-specific and THE STORY 37 seemingly unmotivated malice is attributed. His role is limited to threatening manifestations at moments of crisis, and the onslaughts of the other powers of darkness are similarly insubstantial. Early in the second work in the series Will is attacked by dark clouds (Cooper [1973] 1976:40–1) and the full force of their malevolence achieves only the onset of bad weather—heavy snow and freezing temperatures over Christmas and New Year.

The implication is that it is Odysseus the king who is important in the scheme of things; the men are neither significant nor interesting in their own right. Likewise in many nineteenth- and early twentieth-century children’s stories servants have a shadowy presence, but they are rarely mentioned because from the narrator’s middle-class point of view they are of no significance. Similarly the selections involved in a particular narrative stance imply views about the relative worth and significance of various kinds of human activities.

Hola! Here’s something! Lying right in the road. ’ there was a hoot of snarling horns, and a babel of baying voices. (Tolkien [1954] 1981:432) It is interesting to note that similar indications of ordinariness mark Piggy, in Lord of the Flies, as a lower-class child, and his nickname is also an animal term. In Tolkien these characteristics function as signs of the Orcs’ evil natures but in Golding’s work they are used as evidence of the human experiences, including experiences of discrimination and suffering, that have allowed Piggy to develop wisdom and compassion, qualities the privileged Jack has signally failed to achieve.

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