The two short stories that I am writing about both illustrate the characteristic of poverty in their own styles. They demonstrate how poverty can control people’s life and how it situates you into desolation. Poverty, being the main theme plays a large role in these stories; however despite this fact, they are both very different. In these two stories both of the parents of the two boys (Clement and Bolan) in these short stories have comparable stances towards poverty. In ‘The pieces of silver’ Clement’s parents are poor but are living with it, they are not attempting to resolve the poverty.
They are protective of their money and wish not to spend it unless necessary. This becomes very evident when Clement’s father ‘Ha ha’ s in his face when Clement asks for three pence. This really puts into context the poverty that this family has, they cannot bear to offer a small sum of three pence to give to the retiring head of Clement’s school. It shows that the father laughs into the boys face at such an idea, meaning that the father does not expect such a question from his son. As if this is the norm. Likewise in ‘The Red Ball’ the parents of Bolan are shielding of their money.
They are trying to keep a saving of the little money they have so they cam accumulate it together for a possible better standard of living. This is exposed to the reader when the father tells us he ‘have eight shillings save up in the can’. These few simple words reveal that after a strenuous save they have only managed to acquire a few shillings; which is not adequate to be the entire saving of a family of four. However, unlike the other story the parents are making an attempt to resolve the situation of their poverty.
This is manifest when we are informed about an attempt to produce a saving. This tells us that this family is not content with their current situation. They may even be embarrassed about, which brings me onto my next point. ‘The Pieces of Silver’ and ‘The Red Ball’ also show similar factors of embarrassment of poverty for the main characters. ‘The Pieces of Silver’ demonstrates how someone can be forced into embarrassment, in this case it was Clement. He was forced into embarrassment when the acting head made ‘the hapless boys the laughing-stock of their school friends’.