What are some of the events that enable the protagonist to come to some understanding of himself? What do the results of this self-awareness turn out to be?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For Reese, the events that enable him to derive an understanding of himself are conditions that allow him to see the world as larger than his own.  One such event is his work with Mr. Hooft.  Recognizing and validating Mr. Hooft's narrative allows Reese to better understand his own condition in the world.  Mr. Hooft's story allows Reese to better understand his own.  In doing so, the result of Reese's self- understanding is that he begins the process of identifying with something larger than himself.  Reese is no longer focused on his own being as much as he is on the recognition of something wider, a configuration in which he and others play a part.  

Another event in which self- realization allows Reese to understand more of himself is his love for Icy.  When he is in trouble, such as the moment when he recognizes that Reese could be hauled off to "real jail," Reese speaks with Icy.  This event allow him to understand what is important and what is lasting in a world of contingency.  Reese gains self- awareness of what is important to him.  The result of this is a strength, a type of steely resolve, that allows him to better understand his goals and his purpose of being. Prior to this realization, Reese's life lacked direction and purpose, elements that are now present with the reminder of Icy and her importance in his life.

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