Red Sky At Morning: Stepping Into Adulthood Essay

614 Words 3 Pages
Red Sky At Morning by Richard Bradford, is a coming of age novel that illustrates the maturing of a young man. In the summer of 1944, Frank Arnold, a wealthy shipbuilder in Mobile, Alabama, receives his volunteer commission in the
U.S. Navy. He moves his wife, Ann, and seventeen-year-old son, Josh, to the family's summer home in the village of Corazon Sagrado, high in the New Mexico mountains. Mrs. Arnold finds it impossible to cope with the quality of life in the largely Hispanic village. Josh, more the son of his father than his mother, becomes an integral member of the Sagrado community, forging friendships with classmates at Helen De Crispin school, with the town's resident artist, with Chango
Lopez--macho bully turned model
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His mother takes a turn for the worse in dealing with the changes of Sagrado and her husbands death. She gets caught up in alcohol and leaves Josh to take care of her. Her behavior got to the point that he had to call a doctor. “I hoped I wouldn’t have to call Dr. Temple again professionally, but mother’s behavior had been pretty strange last night. (129).” Josh is not only responsible for his mother but he takes care of himself and his house. “Mother this is getting silly. You’re going to get sicker and sicker unless you start eating and stop all that sherry-drinking. I don’t know how to run the house and I don’t know how to cook (133).”
Josh matures throughout the book by taking responsibility and stepping up to his duties. While his father is in the Navy he writes a letter informing Josh that he will being taking over all the duties where his father is absent. “I do hereby appoint my Son, Joshua M. Arnold, aged seventeen years, my Agent and Attorney in Fact, and do further State that he may issue, give and pronounce Orders, Edicts,
Commands, Directions and Ukases pertinent and relevant to the Operation of said
Household and abutting Lands. (169-170)” As a seventeen year old he is forced to take on the duties of his father. He not only does this willingly but also decides to follow in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the Navy. “At the post office, the
Navy recruiting chief said that two years was the minimum, so

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