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Word Count: 903
Michael Cunninghams White Angel is a short story narrated by nine-year-old Bobby and it follows the experiences Bobby shares with his older brother Carlton in the months before Carltons traumatic death The story is set in the Sixties a time of innocence and awakening The country had emerged from the war-torn Forties and the cookie-cutter Fifties with hope There was a cultural optimism that the Dylan song was more than just a song that the times really were changing It was during this period that sex drugs and rock n roll burst onto the scene In later years more sinister and subversive motives would be ascribed to this trio but in the Sixties it was a liberal haven It offered a refuge to both the burgeoning hippies and recovering beatniks the essence of Carltons Woodstock Nation in the story Cunningham tells his story through the cultural lens of sex drugs and rock n roll and uses the three aspects to illustrate the relationship between Bobby and Carlton In the storys chronology drugs are the first to be used in the definition of the brotherhood The boys drop acid at the breakfast table and go outside to the cemetery Here the dependence and trust Bobby gives his brother is demonstrated in the way he trusts Carlton to lead him down the right path He made no move with Carltons counsel He is scared and lets Carlton know because he never thinks of lying to the brother who will never hurt him The acid they have dropped is for clarity of vision and the sudden lucidity frightens Bobby but he knows his brother will take care of him Im here Carlton says again and he is Later on that night Carlton and Bobby lean out a window and fly together With these scenes Cunningham lays out the foundation for the brothers relationship Carlton fascinates Bobby as infinitely wiser than himself Carlton wants his little brother to know
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