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Essay by   •  April 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,044 Words (5 Pages)  •  928 Views

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There was no hope for him this time: it was the third exam. Night after night he had opened the books and studied by the lighted square of window: and night after night he had found himself feeling tired and disillusioned. Every night as he sat at his desk he said softly to himself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in his ears, like the word antidisestablishmentarianism and vicissitudes. Peter Shearman lived in Armadale because he wished to live as far as possible from the boring, Melbourne outer-suburbs of which he was once a citizen. He abhorred anything which betokened physical or mental disorder and shunned people who could not spell or use big words. He looked back upon his ability to write meaningless trite and yet still score highly in English SACs. If he were not assessed by Graham, he could confuse the examiner into believing his work had substance. For example, when Shearman was to promulgate esoteric cogitations, or articulate superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, the platitudinous ponderosity of it all was simply breathtaking. His communications never possessed a clarified conciseness, a compacted comprehensibleness, coalescent consistency, or a concatenated cogency. Having been inspired by Conrad's Heart of Darkness, he knew that to eschew all conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement, and asinine affectations was to expose himself as having nothing to say. Shearman was a creature driven and derided by vanity. His self-conceitedness was evident in his odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short blog about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense. In understanding his mentality, it is not difficult to comprehend why his eyes burned with anguish and anger when the Literature exam went horribly wrong, only to be followed by Japanese one week later.

The confession

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it. I'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I'll just tell you about this Simon Cartwright stuff that happened to me just after exams. He rang me up:

Simon: Hello Pete. It's Simon.

Peter: Hey Simon. How are -

Simon: I'm gay!

By God it must have been awful for a guy like that to go through school hiding in the closet. We both went to St Kevin's. St Kevins is this school that's in Toorak, Melbourne. You probably heard of it. You've probably seen the ads, anyway. They advertise it in about a thousand magaizines, always showing some hot-shot guy in a footy top surrounded by Aborigines. Like as if all you ever did at Skevs was play politically correct football all the time. And underneath the guy it always says: 'Since 1918 we have been moulding boys into splendid, Catholic, clear-thinking young men.' They don't do any damn more moulding at Skevs than they do at any other school. And I don't know anybody there that was splendid and Catholic and all. Maybe



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