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The story “Postman” is about a boy and his daily life helping at a pony farm owned by his uncle and aunt. The story is also about Henry’s developing sexuality as he shares his days with the girl riders of the farm. Brown explores the theme of blossoming sexuality by utilizing the ten-year-old character, Nicola. Nicola, with her crown of blonde hair, her bird-like lips (described in such a way that it doesn’t sound awkward at all), and her small hands, are all examples of a subtle eroticism that shows us that Henry is developing from a child into an adolescent. There is also the ending, the titular scene in which the group plays a game called postman. In the ending, Brown suggests that the relationship which Henry and Nicola have might not stay strictly friendly, but might instead change into romance as both characters grow.

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Interspersed in the story are the vague hints of Henry’s growth, such as his enjoyment of accidentally brushing his hands against girls’ thighs as he helps them with their pony and his general, but secret, pleasure in the physical contact he can make with the girls. There is also the parts where Henry’s aunt mentions about Henry being the center of the girls’ attention, another suggestion to this story’s theme of coming-of-age. However, the principle relationship of Nicola and Henry is the crux of the story, one in which Henry seems to know her so well that he can detect her lie right away. By showing this, we can establish that Henry and Nicola have already made an emotional connection to one another that hints at a deep relationship with the other. Perhaps, Brown may be saying they are soulmates, and thus Henry can so quickly see through Nicola’s facade.

One Response to “The Thing About Growing Up”

  1. Yue: You’ve presented some wonderful analytical posts, and I’ve enjoyed reading them. But I’d like you to concentrate a bit more on the craft of the stories rather than offer an analysis of their themes.

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