Just Like That is a short story written by Michael Richards. The story is about a father and a son who drives to a paddock with kangaroos. In the beginning of the story the father asks his son if he thinks he can do it and when the son doesn’t answer the father says that if he can’t do it now he never will. And of cause the son tells his father, “Yes. I can do it.” The thing the father is referring to is killing kangaroos. It may sound weird but in the story killing a kangaroo is like a test of manhood. The father has made his son believe that if he kills a kangaroo he will become a man.
I believe the son is in his early teens. There is a time in your life where you have to grow up, find out who you are and slowly move away from your parents. When you’re in your early teens you still believe that what your parents do is the right thing to do but not as much as you did when you were younger. I think the boy has got conflicting feelings because one way he wants to be a man but the other way he still can see that it isn’t right to kill. But the son is still curios to find out what’s going to happen.
The father is a very hard man. Perhaps he doesn’t have any feelings. Maybe he has had a tough childhood himself. Maybe he is angry because his son is very timid and maybe not as masculine as himself and that is why he pushes his son to kill to show off his masculinity.
The bond between the father and the son isn’t very strong. I don’t think they talk very much about feelings and growing up and becoming a man. But I still think that the son is looking up to his father and in the beginning of the story he wants to be like him (a man). But when he has shot his first kangaroo he feels disappointed because it made no difference at all. Through the story the son continues to kill the kangaroos and on page 27 Michael Richards writes “Something inside the boy died.” It could be his innocence but also his idea of masculinity I think he realizes that he doesn’t want to be like his father but at this point he can’t stop killing. The father somehow opened up for something in the son that he hasn’t realized before. Maybe he has got a hidden killer instinct.
I could not help thinking where is the mother?
In the end of the story the son bites his lip and somehow recovers and he realizes that he has done something very wrong and tears start to come to his eyes. He feels nothing, he feels ugly and disgusting because he has killed an animal and now I think he might kills his father because it was his fault.