Here’s Herbie “Her‚s Herbie” mainly occurs within a train, but the setting itself switches between Queens and Manhattan. The narrator tells us that when he was just 15 years old, he was in a constant stage of teenage depression, as his mother was both mentally and physically ill. In a couple of years, he had to travel to Manhattan twice a week because of his needs of injections due his allergy. However, he despised the trip, because it held many terrors for him, one being that he had to get on the subway.The only thing he enjoyed of the trip was sitting in the front car; he loved looking out of the window, but never had he courage to go up and stand in front of it. One day, as he was sitting in the train, a guy entered the train and started yelling in a very loud voice: “Herbie’s here.
Here’s Herbie! ” To begin with, the narrator considered Herbie as a retard because Of his rather strange appearance. However, as soon as Herbie sat by the front window with his steering wheel and started imagining himself steering the train, the narrator felt this common identity between them.Towards the ending, we’re told that the narrator actually ended up doing the exact same thing on his way home. Narrator The story is written in a first person narrator, meaning it’s written from the l- person’s point of view.
The narrative technique is already shown from the first sentence: “When I was fifteen, I was possessed of a great many psychosomatic complaints. ” (p. 62). Since it’s a first person narrator, the point of view is quite limited. We’re only witnessing the situation in the story through the main characters opinions and feelings.The use of a fist person narrator gives the readers a glimpse into the real inner feelings and frustrations of the main character, as in: “l felt it would be embarrassing, xtremely uncool..
. ” (p. 63). Considered the fact that the narrator actually is an older person, the point of view is according to my own way of thinking quite reliable. There can of course be some kind of memory loss, since we’re told about the past, but I don’t think iVs the case in this story.
The meeting with Herbie has had such a huge impact on the narrator, which is why I’m convinced that the episode in the train isn’t something thafs easily forgotten.Characterization As far as a characterization ofthe narrator as a person, there’s no name iven, but we know that the narrator is the main character himself. On page 62 we’re told that when he was just 15 years old, he was in a possession of some psychosomatic complaints due to him trying to compete with his mother, who was both mentally and physically ill. The mothers sickness made the narrator sick; at some points, the sickness became so terrible that she wished she had never had children, “..
. or calling her mother to complain that she wished she had never had children, which was sort of a cheery way to Start my day. ” (p. 2). Although the narrator is using irony in this specific entence, it’s quite obvious that the mother’s moans and complains affected the son in a very negative way.
The narrator mentioned that he had “a department store full of fears to play with. ” (p. 63). By this, he actually meant his fear of trains; he felt as if everything was going to fall on him.
When sitting in the train, he never had the courage to stand up and look out of the window, as he was afraid of the attention the position would draw (p. 63). This is also, why he pitifully stared at Herbie once he got on the train announcing, “Herbie’s here. Here’s Herbie!Yet this little nutty-looking guy had no qualms about moving to the front with his stick-on wheel and commanding the helm from the train’s front window. The author’s description of Herbie brings out a sensational contrast between the securities of the narrator and Herbie.
Somehow, Herbie – whom he described as a half-wit in comparison to his brilliant, athletic self – and behavior fascinate the narrator, as he without any fear went over to the front window and did what the narrator never had the nerve to do. Herbie rather liberated the narrator from the paranoia, which ade him think all people were spies for his mother.After visiting the doctor, where his arm smarted from the injection (p. 66), he decided to put his face right up against the window of the train and then looked out. In this enlightened moment, the author asks: “Have you ever had enough guts or child in you to get up there . and look out the front of a speeding trainr (p. 67). Towards the ending, the narrator returned to his everyday life with his mother and her illness, which he had grown to dislike.
We sense a newfound confidence he developed, in order to become more satisfied with certain hings in his life.Theme The overall theme in this short story could be “growing up”. Finding out who you are, while trying to do what your heart desires, will always be a part of growing up. In page 65, w‚re told that the narrator had no idea of what he wanted to be, or if he even wanted to be anything. “He’s like Albert Schweitzer or Jonas Salk – from the day he was born, he knew he was going to conquer the Zambezi… ” (p.
65). In the ending though, we witness how this little, embarrassed guy develops and takes his first steps towards being independent from his mother.Moral of the story ould like to conclude that sharing the same desires with a person could easily create a connection between two individuals. This doesnt necessarily mean that they’re sharing the same identity, but they feel a certain connection, as if they have something in common, which also is this case; they both find it thrilling to pretend that theyre the ones who controls the trains. Assuming the case as a whole, I do think that the author clearly showed the message of the story: to obtain your desire.
Dont let anyone prevent you from achieving your dreams, because every individual has to be in total command of their own lives.