"It comforted him. For almost four years it meant a lot to him," ends the short story, "The Life of Lincoln

West" by Gwendolyn Brooks. This quote suggests that the eleven-year-old Lincoln commits suicide. Why would he

do this? Because of the crushing rejection of Lincoln by his parents, teacher, friends, and strangers, he ends his life.

Although it may be hard to believe, Lincoln was rejected by his own family. His father couldn't stand to look

at Lincoln. He tried very hard to please his father but was not successful. His mother put him with her hairpins and

sweethearts, dance slippers, and torn paper roses. She didn't think of her own child as anymore important than these

insignificant objects. His parents didn't love him because of the way he looked. Holidays with his family were ruined

because his family members couldn't believe that he was so ugly. They felt resentment about him.

Lincoln loved his kindergarten teacher but her only concern for Lincoln was one part sympathy and two parts

repulsion. It was even difficult for her to be polite to Lincoln because of the way he looked. She did a nice thing for

Lincoln one day after school by walking him home. The only reason she walked Lincoln home from school was

because she felt pity for him. After she started walking him home she regretted it.

Children need other children to grow up with and have fun with. Lincoln only had this with his neighbor

friends when there wasn't anyone else around. They were nice to him and played with him but when other kids were

around they acted like they weren't his friend. The kids on the playground wouldn't let him touch them and wouldn't be

it when he caught them while they played tag. Lincoln had no real friends. No one liked him.

Even strangers walking down the street would look at Lincoln and point and stare. In the movie theatre with

his mother one day a man pointed Lincoln out and called him "Black, ugly and odd." They said that he was "The real

thing." Lincoln found happiness in this statement. "The real thing" made him feel like he was special, a somebody.

In conclusion, it is awful that people are judged by the way they look or the way they dress. Lincoln loved

everyone and everything, but because he wasn't an attractive child he was not loved in return. People couldn't look

past the outside of Lincoln and see the beauty he had within himself. Lincoln could think of no other way to get people

to love him, so he ended his life. It's a tragedy that a child so young feels the need to end his life because he feels

unloved.

Word Count: 460

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