Last Days of Summer. The Theme of Family Essay Example


Every child is born with their own family that is unique and different. In the book Last Days of Summer, Steve Kluger describes the family struggles of a boy growing up in Brooklyn. The boy named Joey has no father around to guide him, and his mother and aunt don’t always see what is going on in his life. Joey starts writing letters to different people, which led to him forming an intricate relationship with the New York Giants third baseman Charlie Banks. Charlie is more nurturing and caring than Joey’s own family.

Family can be defined by people who step up more than people who are there at birth. Joey’s father was there when he was born, but he never helped Joey when he was growing up. When Joey didn’t have a father there to help with his Bar Mitzvah, Charlie stepped up and took the role of the father. Joey even said it himself, “When I almost couldn’t have a Bar Mitzvah because my father wouldn’t come, Charlie Banks is the one who learned the Torah with me, even though he is a Protestant… (pg. 206)” A family should help each other in times of need, and when Joey’s biological father didn’t show up, Charlie is the one who was there for Joey. Without Charlie, Joey might’ve never been able to become a man. Another example is when Joey snuck out to Charlie. When Charlie saw that Joey was alone, he cared for him and made sure that he is safe. While the third baseman enlisting in the military, Joey snuck onto a train to get to Charlie. Charlie explains the situation, “ 3000 miles across the whole U.S.A. right under their nose and they never got wise to him. (pg.27)” Banks stepped up and protected Joey when his parents weren’t there. Although Joey and Charlie didn’t get along at first, whenever Joey needed help, Charlie was there for him.

Different members of a family should be there to give advice to other family members. This advice could be on anything from life advice to help with school or even help to get girls. Throughout the novel, Charlie gives Joey different advice that would help him. Charlie Banks told Joey how to get with the girl he liked, whose name is Rachel. Banks said, “I told him not to send Rachel a love letter… I figure he will probably have one in the mail to her as soon as he hears me say don’t. (pg.319)” Charlie knew that if Joey wrote a letter he would have a good chance of getting with Rachel. Charlie is smart and wrote that to help Joey. Before Charlie died, he wrote a letter for Joey. In the letter that Charlie wrote, he made a list of things Joey should know. The second piece of advice on that list, “Everyone has something worth it inside of them even if it doesn’t show. Sometimes you have to look a little harder than other times but don’t give up. Otherwise all your going to see is a sorehead who plays 3d base. (pg. 346)” Charlie genuinely loves Joey and wanted to pass on some knowledge. Charlie knew he could die, so he wrote the letter so that Joey would get the information. Family members should give each other advice, and that is exactly what Charlie Banks did with Joey.

Family should care and look out for each other, and Charlie did just that for Joey. Joey wrote an essay for competition and ended up winning a trip to the White House to meet the president. Charlie took Joey to the White House and watched over him on their trip. Charlie ended up winning the father of the year award. In the book, “Mrs. Roosevelt named Charlie ‘Father of the Year’(pg. 216)”Although Charlie isn’t related to Joey by blood, he is still a role model and this award shows it. To get this type of award you’d have to be very caring and a good father or father-figure. Another example of Charlie looking out for Joey is when he reviewed the essay Joey was going to send to Rachel. After looking at the draft, Charlie gives him suggestions on what he can do better. “So we better take a good look at it and figure out where to put the fix in,” Charlie said in a letter (pg. 185). This shows that Charlie was looking out for Joey and tried to help him get with Rachel. The relationship between Joey and Charlie shows that they cared for each other and they tried to look out for each other.

Charlie Banks is more caring than members of Joey’s real family. Charlie stepped up when Joey’s parents weren’t there. On several different occasions, Joey did not have his mom or dad there to help him, but Charlie was there for him. He also gave valuable advice to Joey, like how to get with Rachel, which was something that Joey’s mother and aunt couldn’t give him. Banks wrote a letter to Joey before he died with other advice which shows that he cared for him. Charlie was a father-figure to Joey and without him, Joey might’ve become a different man. Charlie Banks was the best thing that ever happened to Joey Margolis.

 

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