• This comparative essay is comparing two different short stories, to view their similarities and differences, and what they have in common. The two stories that were chosen are ‘The Buddy System’, And ‘So What Are You Anyway?’ These stories show similarities and differences that will be discussed and explored to the fullest extent. The main thesis of this easy is: Constant teasing can be very harmful for somebody emotionally, mentally, socially, and can cause him or her to act out in a negative way, although that is not their character. With the following series of paragraphs, readers will be able to grasp this concept.

    One common issue that both of the stories share is the discrimination that takes place throughout the plot. In ‘So what are you anyway’ there is a little mulatto girl sitting by herself on plane, beside a white couple who become curious and start to harass the girl, to the point where she can’t take it anymore and freaks out on the couple. In ‘The Buddy System’ Buddy was being constantly bullied by Francis to the point where he could not withstand it anymore and then commenced to attack Francis which in the end gets him through his problem. That is a similarity between both of the stories, both of the protagonists are being harassed until they get to the point where they cannot hold in their raging emotions much longer and release them in an angry outburst, resulting in an out of character action causing even further distress to the victim.

    Another very common issue that is very recurring within both of the short stories is the need to fit in, that the characters of both stories face. The reason why these characters feel the need to fit in with the rest of society is because of the social pressure that is put upon these victims, is so heavy, and the desire to feel “normal” and this idea of normal is very strong to the general population. In ‘So What Are You Anyway?’ The little mulatto girl is questioned, and then she feels guilty for not being fully ‘Black’ or being full ‘white’ and thus she is confused, scared, and upset at her harassment. In ‘The Buddy System’ the narrator, describes himself not really fitting in with all of the other boys, and that when he used
    Buddy as a sort of meat shield, and he would become the blunt of all the kids’ teasing he would be ignored and treated as normal making the victim seem like he or she does not fit in resulting in an unstable mind and being quite paranoid about the fact, even if the victim does not see his or her self that way.

    One thing that both short stories do not have in common, are the reactions by the victims, after they had been victimised. In ‘So What Are You Anyway’ the young girl is enraged by the taunts from the couple who is seated beside her, then starts to scream and make a fit causing the stewardess to take action on the matter and with that the problem was solved. In ‘The Buddy System’ Buddy seems to have been pushed to the edge by his bully, Francis’ and while the two are in a workshop class proceeds to take a screwdriver and direct at the neck of Francois threatening to lacerate his jugular vein. With Buddy’s violent yet clear response Francis’ mother is given no other choice but to take her son out of his current school and place him into a different one solving the main conflict in the story. When this happens the victim seems to take an emotional break from whatever had just happened although they could still be mentally unstable, so it is a very fragile state of mind for them.

    In conclusion is clear that even though short stories may have entirely different purposes, characters, themes, motifs, and general attributes, it is possible for them to be similar to each other due to the fact that Constant teasing can be very harmful for somebody emotionally, mentally, socially, and can cause him or her to act out in a negative way, although that is not their character. Throughout the following dissertation, these effects have been effectively exposed in the two short stories.