Eventually, our world widened, until we were like other families, enjoying trips to parks and the zoo. I felt there was something special about us: We had all walked on the side of sorrow and seen the dawn. Each time I tucked my kids in, singing our silly nighttime songs, each and every morning they woke up safe, was like a drink for my own thirsty cup. When I was that age, I would think, and fill in the blank for all that I had avoided for them. Through them I got to experience what it was like to be loved, to be protected, to be cherished.
The anonymity of the boy is suggestive of the overall theme of the story, the insignificance of the individual in the larger society. The boy is unnamed because as the story demonstrates in any number of ways, he is unimportant. He lives with relatives who are not his parents which suggests a problem; it is likely the parents have made the crossing and are not yet established to bring the child over, though another possibility is that they have died as a result of the harshness of Irish life. Other suggestions of insignificance include the i... Read more →