What are examples of actions taken by Donny that reveal his nature in Teenage Wasteland?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Donny could easily be classified as a troubled teenager.  However, it is important to note that none of Donny's actions are actually witnessed by the audience.  They are all only spoken about through other characters.  Description of his actions which justify the "troubled teenager" label include poor academic performance at school, lying to his parents, cutting class, smoking at school, and drinking (or the smell of beer on his breath).

His attitude appears to change, briefly, however, when Donny begins meeting with his tutor, Cal.  Given just a small encouragement to open up, it seems Donny is willing to at least talk about some of the problems his parents are concerned with.  He plays basketball with the other kids and seems to be enjoying himself.  However, by the end of the story, it is clear that if he made any improvement or headway during his three days a week with Cal, nothing was permanent.  By the end of the story he has once again been expelled from school.  He says he was basically blackmailed (with beer in his locker) but this is never proven.  After his transfer to a public school, Donny disappears one day, and the story ends.  It is to be assumed that he feels as misunderstood and alone at the end of the story as he did at the beginning.


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