The Running Man Book Essay

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English: The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer.
Topic: Is there good and bad in all of us in relation to the novel The Running Man? Michael Gerard Bauer’s novel The Running Man is about a boy named Joseph and how becomes close to Tom Leyton, a Vietnam Veteran suffering from PTSD after he is asked by Tom’s sister to draw a portrait of him for a school project. There are many characters in this novel that have both good and bad aspects to them. For example, Mrs Mossop sees her meddling in other’s affairs as trying to protect them, while the people who she’s meddling with mightn’t agree, and Joseph’s impulsiveness that causes hurt to others can be seen as bad, whilst his kind and forgiving behaviour towards Tom Leyton can be seen as…show more content…

Oftentimes she may feel that she’s “telling (people) for (their) own good,” like when she informs the Davidsons about Tom Leyton’s past. Though she does this out of fear for Joseph’s safety, she judges Tom without ever having spoken to him. Her accusation is based on an account from many years ago that may have been exaggerated over time and that she doesn’t know the whole story about. As a result of her words, the relationship between Tom Leyton and Joseph is damaged.
No matter how good her intentions were, she shouldn’t have acted without ever talking to Tom Leyton herself, or at least not only trying to find out why he lost his former job as a teacher, but why he acted the way he did.
Tom Leyton suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, which he developed while fighting in the Vietnam War. This causes him to be an introvert, cold and cut off from others. Nearer the start of the book he often says things that hurt people who are only trying to help him, such as asking Joseph if he believes in miracles and telling him “don’t.” (pg. 120) Despite this, Joseph is good to Tom and is extremely upset that he couldn’t save him after he fell off the ladder, but according to Caroline Leyton he “already had.” (pg. 268)
This shows that he really changed Tom’s life for the better. Tom even says that “for over thirty years (he’d) been afraid to dream, because of the nightmares in (his) head. (Joseph) changed that.” (pg. 254) Though Joseph is

Two people emerge from their personal cocoons in this Australian import. Until he meets Tom Leyton, Joseph is a shy 14-year-old who hardly speaks to anyone. Sketching Tom for a school project, Joseph soon learns the tortured past of the reclusive Vietnam veteran who raises silkworms in his sister’s home. As the summer progresses, the two unlikely companions share their dark secrets, and Joseph gains the courage to confront the mysterious figure he sees chasing him both on the street and in his dreams. Joseph’s musings are occasionally too sophisticated for his chronological age, but such maturity appears authentic for his introverted personality. Instead of creating a static boogeyman, Bauer’s deft depiction of the Running Man moves him beyond spooky into a sympathetic light. A heavily moralizing subplot, built around Joseph’s guilt after a fight with his father, is unnecessary and adds a false and harsh note to the exploration of interpersonal relationships. Thankfully, the metamorphosis theme flows smoothly, enabling younger teen artists and scientists to enjoy both silkworm and character maturation. (Fiction. YA)

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