Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

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What do you think Shawn's father thought about him as a person in Stuck in Neutral?

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mrsbundy eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The reader never knows exactly what is going on in Shawn's father's head since the novel is not written from his point of view.  The only clues we have are those that Shawn has: at first, it seems to Shawn that his father wants the best for him, but Shawn gradually realizes that his father genuinely believes he is better off dead.  Shawn's father is unsure of whether Shawn has any mental capacity at all, and he worries that Shawn only has the capacity to feel pain. In that way, Shawn's father only views him as an object, not as a person.  Shawn is completely immobile and unable to communicate his thoughts, desires, joys and pains.  In that way Shawn is almost like a pet and not like a child.

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sagetrieb eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The first person limited point of view creates the tension, irony , and meaning of this story.  Just as Shawn’s father can only guess what his son’s internal life might be like, so Shawn must interpret through his father’s actions whether he really does plan to end Shawn’s life.  An...

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