“Boys” Write Up by Evie Cockrell


In “Boys” by Rick Moody, the story goes over the life of twin boys. I think it is really interesting how in depth he got about the transition from boys to “no longer boys.” Moody is really able to capture the emotion of growing up by just using images and certain characterizations over the course of this short story. It really makes you want to treasure your sibling and age as you are right now, and not take it for granted.

My favorite aspect of this piece was the authentic tone of it all. How on parts that was joking, the tone was flippant, and how on sections with a more serious nature, like the sister and father, it dropped the goofy nature and you didn’t think twice. I feel that Moody is such a great writer with how he integrated subjects like cancer, drugs, and death, which are usually difficult to talk about, and had them all in one piece of his work.

Another fantastic highlight of this short story was the characterization. Moody was just able to show actions and clothing and have these things embody a whole person. Take the line, “trailing after their father,” for example. It seems fairly simple, but look behind it to all the meaning. It shows that the boys admire their father, and want to be like them. I realize there is not a super deep meaning in the line, but it gets my point across.

I also enjoyed his use of images throughout the piece. My favorite example of this would have to be, “boys hold either hand of their sister,” because of the emotion impregnating it. You get this picture of a girl holding her brothers’ hands, and, if you recognize the region of the story that it’s from, you’ll remember it’s after she is diagnosed with cancer, which puts even more onto it. Moody’s ability to put this much emotion into one phrase astounds me.

The section, and I realize this may seem insignificant, but bear with me, talking about live bait or a lure is so powerful. It puts all of the sibling rivalry they had been experiencing up until then into a simple fishing argument. It, in itself, is almost a summary of the second half of the piece.

One thing that I think that we can all take away from Rick Moody’s style would be his simplistic emotion. How he keeps everything easy to understand, yet powerful. Mastering a skill like this could prove very beneficial in the writing community. It could also be used in persuasive writing or spoken words, but may be more valuable in fiction. This piece mastered it and was so enjoyable to read, and I hope that I will be able to integrate it into my writing.

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