The story revolves around seventh grade students in a certain school. Two characters are exhibited in this story. The first character is a very beautiful girl called Kathy and she is in the school’s cheerleading team. She is depicted to be very keen on her wardrobe for she wears the latest outfits and shoes. Her hair is her major obsession by keeping neat locks of piggytails. She matches everything she wears and is very cautious of how she looks. She seems to be egocentric wanting everything around her to be perfect and on her own terms. Her friends are the platforms to showcase her beauty and her daily life attributes. The writer depicts her to be ahead of her time in the manner in which she conducts herself when the aspect of dating comes in. The second character plays out in the background admiring the beautiful girl’s life. This perspective is portrayed when they go to painting class, and when the mother of Kathy picks her up from school with the comments she has for the picture. This character somehow envy’s Kathy for her lavish life compared to hers. One, she has a mother who is not always there for her. These two lifestyles contrast each other in this plot.
The introduction of the story starts with a detailed description of Kathy in her perfect appearance. She looks more sophisticated than a seventh grader. She draws a lot of attention to the second character in the story who is strongly influenced by her perfect life and wants to imitate her. This is depicted when the next day at school she wears her piggytails to match those of Kathy which does not turn out as well as she had thought.
This story lays out two distinctive characteristics and lifestyles of the two seventh grade students. Kathy is the outspoken, attractive, rich and top of the food chain girl in that school and draws much attention from both boys and girls. She goes the extra mile to make sure it stays that way by wearing the latest designer trends in outfits. Her lifestyle is supposedly an envy or admiration to other school kids. She is self centered, elusive and particular in the friends she hangs out with. Her friends are the cover of her desires and address her every whim. She does not give attention or consideration to anybody and keeps only to herself. The second character stays in the background of the story always observing Kathy in every aspect. She retreats in her
cocooned life with does not have external expressions. More of an introvert, she bears her own desires of what could have been. Her mother is always too busy and does not listen to her because she is working to provide for them. She admires Kathy’s mom who seems genuinely concerned for her daughter’s welfare and wishes her own mother would be more like her. These two different family backgrounds shape the characters of this story and expresses the different behaviors formed in the school environment.
The library scene climaxes the plot of the story where Kathy finds herself unsettled when she does not find friends she can sit with. She frowns vividly as she does not find friends who fit her style. She panics literally and flees from the room when other students stare at her. On her way out she spots the second character and requests to sit with her and she readily complies as she sees this as an opportunity to make friends. A conversation ensues which brings out differences between the two especially in their studies. Later, Kathy spots her friend and moves to that table. Kathy shunning the character’s greetings becomes the last nail on the coffin on her perception of Kathy. This brought out Kathy’s insecurities and the fake stance that she was brought out in her ‘perfect’ life. Her lifestyle was a mask to her real self for she used friends to accomplish her egocentric desires. She had no real interests in life as long as she got what she wanted. Presumably a ‘bully’ in the perfect life she was living.
The characters of this new story are still in the seventh grade class. Janice and Maria come from the same neighborhood and attend the same school and class. They have been the best of friends since childhood and their families have also been friends. They hang out together in school and always look out for each other’s welfare. Janice is prettier than Maria but this does not get in the way of their friendship. Of recent, Janice has been getting attention from the boys in the school. In particular, a handsome boy called Pitt in the same class has asked her out to go and have some ice cream. Janice tells her best friend Maria about Pitt who thinks it’s a great idea but hides her true discontent with the new development. She feels that their friendship would be threatened as Janice would be more inclined to spend her time with Pitt than her. Maria has always lived in Janice’s shadow where she draws her comfort and security. She does not have any other close friend and Janice has always been there for her.
The scene of the introduction takes place in the school cafeteria as Janice and Maria are taking their lunch while engrossed in the talk about their new history teacher and his method of teaching. Janice spots Pitt who is seating with his friends two tables away. Pitt winks at her and makes her to make a shy smile and giggle. Maria catches the smile on her friend and turns her head to see Pitt forming a broad smile on his face. She downplays the feeling and gives Pitt a grunttled smile and quickly turns around. As they continue with their girl talk, she observes Janice is not paying attention to what they were talking and now seems engrossed in their facial communication with Pitt.
Maria’s character portrays her to be insecure with the new situation between their friendship with Janice who has been her solace in life. With a boy in the picture, she feels more intimidated and she is losing the grip on their friendship. She has been developing pressure from trying to find a boy interested in her so she can be equal with Janice. Her life has become more withdrawn and she is becoming angry with her friend’s sudden change. Janice has been spending more time with Pitt and constantly ignoring her time with Maria. She is constantly giving Maria lame excuses on why she cannot make to come over at her house for their girly talk which they always had, and is usually on the phone with Pitt. Her mother is concerned about Janice as she has stopped inviting her friend Maria to their house as she usually did, but Janice says that Maria is doing her homework.
Pitt and Janice’s friendship is curtailed short when Janice finds Pitt at the lockers’ with another girl. As Janice greets Pitt, he gives her a cold smile as he tells the new girl he would pick her at the usual time. Janice gets a cold shock and is dumbfounded as she realizes the cold reality.
Pitt has been putting up a fake mask for their friendship and all along it had not been for real. She was utterly saddened for having abandoned her friend Maria and ignoring their friendship and now feels insecure and does not know how to approach her friend Maria. They meet during lunch break and Maria notices her friend is sobbing with a sad face and enquires. Janice makes her apology to Maria who willingly accepts her back.
Writing an Autobiographical Narrative.” Masks”.
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