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The fall of the City: Unnatural Growth

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Every child has their own level of maturity and preferences. Should one’s behaviour be forced to change because of the stereotypes in society? In Alden Nowlan’s The Fall of the City, he writes in first person about a young innocent boy ,named Teddy, disagreeing with his uncle to be a well taught normal boy. It is important for a child to grow up and become an adult ,but they need to be the one building themselves instead of being forced like Teddy. Alden Nowlan develops Teddy by comparing him with his uncle with a strong tone. He also creates hidden meanings by having the war between Danova and Upalia relate to the conflict between Teddy and his uncle.

Throughout the story, Teddy’s eleven year old imagination falls apart slowly as he roughly transitions from an imaginative boy into his father’s fantasy in order to protect himself emotionally. After his uncle told him to start his homework, “his uncle stood in the doorway between kitchen and living room, his shoulders shaking with laughter. ‘you’d never guess what that kid has been doing up there!’ … that great lummox has been playing with paper dolls!'” Although Teddy knows that he will need to grow up sometime and his guardians that are living with him are trying to help, Teddy does not think that they he is playing with paper dolls. The Uncle creates his own opinion and forces Teddy to change by making fun of him. Teddy should be influenced to change instead of forced or Teddy will think growing up is just like an acting class.

Nowlan uses an interesting tone to create complicated and a somewhat confused emotional quality to the story. During the argument with Teddy and his uncle, The tone starts to be more vulnerable when “Teddy’s fists were clenched … his voice shaking … his uncle pointed a warning finger” which converts the atmosphere to be more serious. Teddy respects his uncle because his voice and body language is described to be unconfident, but he still disagrees with his father. Alden Nowlan creates this situation where the uncle is in control by using his power as the adult in order to remind the reader that an adult’s mind is stronger than a children or pre teen’s mind. Teddy is being forced to grow by having to argue with an adult that is obviously better built.

Teddy’s imagination about the war between Danova and Upalia and the disagreement between Teddy and his uncle are related in many different ways. Teddy’s uncle makes a joke about Teddy’s ability to not daydream, “Teddy looked at his uncle’s round, florid face and reflected on the resemblance to Zikla, Duke of Anders.” Earlier in the story, Duke of Anders in Teddy’s imagination is considered to be the Villain while King Theodore is the hero. The difference between Teddy’s imagination is that the hero had won in his imagination but the protagonist in the reality would be considered a loss because Teddy had lost his confidence to be creative. Teddy needed to be taught positively in a strategic way in order to be successful instead of being forced, just like how King Theodore built army and won the war by using strategy.

The Fall of the City by Alden Nowlan reminds us to not force anyone into changing their opinions. This will break down the person emotionally. An example of this would be Teddy, his uncle forced him to not express his own thoughts through the art of puppets or dolls. To force someone to have the same way of processing information or expressing themselves is incorrect. Everyone’s brain functions differently.

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