He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

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Is the ending of "He-y, Come on Out!" appropriate or confusing in conveying the author's message about environmental abuse?

The ending of Shinichi Hoshi's "He-y, Come on Ou-t!" seems confusing at first when a voice and pebble appear from the sky, but the literary device is actually quite appropriate to the message of the story that the damage people do to the environment will come back around to affect them.

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Then ending of “He-y, Come on Ou-t!” by Shinichi Hoshi seems quite confusing on a first read. A workman is standing high up on the frame of a new skyscraper when suddenly from above him he hears a voice shouting, “He-y, come on ou-t!” and a pebble flies past him. We readers remember that at the beginning of the tale, a group of villagers is standing beside a hole that has formed after a typhoon. One young man steps up to the hole and shouts down it, “He-y, come on ou-t!” He also throws a pebble down the hole.

Now at the end of the story, the voice sounds again and the pebble flies, and we might wonder what is going on. However, the point is clear. What goes around, comes around. Since the hole seems to have no bottom, people have been throwing all their waste into it for quite some time, everything from nuclear material to old diaries. When people want to get rid of something, they throw it into the hole. It seems safe. It seems bottomless. The junk, dangerous or not, that they throw into it seems to be gone forever, never to affect them again.

But the story's ending teaches us that this is not so. The voice reappears. The pebble flies. The hole is not bottomless at all. The suggestion is that it goes right through the earth and somehow returns above the city and village where it started. If the voice and pebble reappear, then all the waste will come back to haunt the residents as well.

There is an important message about the environment behind this strange literary device. What goes around, comes around. The damage we do to then environment will one day come back to haunt us. We may think that our trash is gone forever, hidden away some place where we cannot be affected by it, but that is not true. Like the voice and the pebble, it will return in some fashion, and we will feel the consequences of our actions. The story's ending, therefore, is quite appropriate to its message.

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