As he walks toward his first day of school, accompanied by his father, the young boy is apprehensive. Although he is proud of his new clothes, he is uncertain as to why he needs to be torn from his family home to embark on this new path. Like many young school children, he looks longingly back toward his mother and wishes he could stay safely at home.
He questions his father as to whether he is being punished and feels that the school looks stern and forbidding, like a fortress. At first, thrust into this wider new society of the schoolyard, he is frightened and wants to cry, as some of the other children are doing.
However, he soon adjusts, and the narrative moves from his focus on his first day and his walk with his father to a summary of what his school days in general were like:
Living beings were drawn to other living beings, and from the first moments my heart made friends with such boys as were to be my friends and fell in love with such girls, as I was to be in love with, so that it seemed my misgivings had had no basis . . .
After his initial fears, he settles into school, which becomes a microcosm of his life as a whole.