The Stone Boy Background

The Stone Boy Background

The Stone Boy” was originally published in 1957; nearly three decades later in 1984, the short story was adapted into a movie. “The Stone Boy” was written by Gina Berriault, a California native whose parents were Russian-Jewish. Berriault’s father was a writer, and she followed in his footsteps, writing stories when she was very young and continuing to author works. Her works have won many awards, from the PEN/Faulkner Award to the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award to the Rea Award for the Short Story. Most of her well known works are short stories.

Berriault's short story tells of a young boy named Arnold who kills his older brother Eugie but picks peas for an hour afterwards. His parents and uncle don’t understand why Arnold left Eugie dead on the ground for such a long time, and Arnold does not have an explanation either. The reader has to wonder whether Arnold is mentally disabled or mentally capable but completely apathetic, as a criminal is.

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