characteristics of morty and tony

Characteristics of Morty
In the short story “The Fastest Runner on Sixty-first street” by James T.Farrell, the central character Morty is described as a self-confident and popular boy, proud of his achievements as fastest and dedicated runner and skater. Other fellows liked Morty and they would say “there’s a damn good kid and a damned fast runner” (217). Morty has many friends but he still became friends with Tony. Morty appreciates his friendship with Tony and becomes his protector. He begins to like Tony and “to look on him as a big brother. He’d always wanted a brother.” (220) Morty supports Tony in many ways, even if he sometimes dislikes Tony’s aggressions towards others. Morty is very self-confident and has already made plans for his future. Morty “lived in a world where he was somebody, and he was going into a bigger world where he would still be somebody” (222). Although Morty is a very self-confident person he participates in many fights, even if his character is equilibrated and friendly. The friendship with Tony influences him profoundly. Even stable characters can be influenced by racism, if they want to belong to a certain group.

Characteristics of Tony
In the short story “The Fastest Runner on Sixty-first street” by James T. Farrell, the central figure, Tony, is described as a boy with an insecure character who gains some self-confidence due to his friendship with Morty. Tony is disadvantaged because he is the poorest and dumbest boy at school. He wins Morty’s friendship to increase his social status at school. Tony was the one who got Morty into fighting. Tony once said, “Kid you run the fastest, I fight the best in de whole school. We make a crack-up team. We’re pals. Shake, kid, we’re pals.” (219) This alliance improves Tony’s relationship with the other children.

Tony continuously looks for self-affirmation. Tony “wanted to fight and punch because he could feel powerful and would be praised and admired” (220) Being a weak character Tony seeks to improve his self-esteem by suppressing others. Tony enhances his aggressions by beginning to call others “nigger”. (221) When Tony “didn’t like a kid, he called him a ‘nigger’”. (221) And he talked about the”niggers”. And they could be beat up.” (221) These insults create the foundation for the racism that will finally lead to Morty’s dead. Racism often arises out of little tolerance for different groups and out of stupidity and ignorance. Persons with low self-confidence are often more susceptible to follow racism.

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