How the Lack of Guidance and Hope Shaped a Young Man
Hope is a precious commodity that can give us the strength to overcome great adversity but when hope is lost people can be transformed. In “Refresh, Refresh” Benjamin Percy tells the tale of Josh, a teenage boy, whose Marine father has been in Iraq for far longer than anticipated and he would now have to push forward into manhood without the guidance of his father. The story begins with its protagonist, Josh, describing himself and his friend Gordon and how every day after school they fought. Josh explained that the boys fought in order to become stronger but in time the fighting became more than that, it became their coping mechanism where they could beat their frustrations out on each other. He goes on to described the place where he and Gordon lived, Crow, Oregon, a small mountain town like any other mountain town in the United States with the exception of a Marines base which was located on the outskirts of town and where their fathers along with many of the town’s men were enlisted as reservist Marines. Although Josh’s father was a soldier he was always there for him to help guide him into manhood but this all changed when his father was deployed to war and Josh was forced to face this change alone. The transition, from boy to man, is not an easy one and in order for Josh to cope with the absence of his father he must hold on to something, so he relies on the hope of his father’s safe return to help him through his journey. Hope in turn becomes the fuel to a fire that burned inside of Josh giving him purpose and strength to carry on, but as the time passes and contact with his father lessens that fire starts to lose its intensity until it is completely extinguished and in his darkest hour the boy is transformed.
Josh realizes that with the departure of his father he is truly alone and in need of direction. Adolescence is a tumultuous period of a young person’s life it is a...