Pinckney Benedict's stories "Town Smokes" depicts the life of a boy in search for a better life and manhood. During the story, the boy loses his father, all of his worldly possessions (at the hands of two older boys), and hope.
In the end, the death of his father forces the boy to become a man. At one point in the story, one can see that he lies in a middle area, a border, between boyhood and manhood.
What the boy comes to realize is that the path to becoming a men is a long one. Like the rain which falls throughout the text, the change into manhood is slow and steady. It is not something one can force at will.
A good thesis statement one can form in regards to the text, and about manhood, would examine the imagery of the rain and how it symbolizes the slow and steady voyage into manhood.
Therefore, a proper thesis would look like this:
In Benedict's story "Town Smokes", the path to adulthood is filled with challenges one must overcome. The protagonist's understanding of the rain, which falls around him almost constantly, is the key to finding the path to adulthood.