In the film, “Almos’ A Man,” Dave is a young boy who works as a farm hand who feels like he is treated like a boy but he feels like he should be treated like a man. He even quips to his mother that she often tells him “he is almos’ a man now,” during the discussion when he asks to buy a gun. He makes excuse after excuse about why they need a gun but in reality it seems to me to be a typical boys’ infatuation with guns, as he really proves it to be as the movies goes on.Order now
He actually convinces his mother that he will buy the gun and bring it straight home and give to her so she can give it to his father. Naturally he does not bring it right home. He keeps it loaded and under his pillow. When his mom wakes him and asks for it, he says it’s hidden outside and he will get it first thing in the morning. Again, he does not retrieve the gun for his mother. This time he takes the gun to work in the fields with him. As he is working the fields with the mule, Jenny, to whom he seemed quite attached, he decides to fire the gun for the first time.
In his inexperience, he fires erratically and accidentally hit the mule and she is killed. He seems genuinely upset and remorseful at first but after his parents and his boss, Mr. Hawkins found out about the gun and what he had done and they reprimanded him, he became angry and sullen. When his father instructed him to return the gun to the store where he bought it, he instead decided to keep it and hopped on a train out of town. Dave Saunders suffered a series of unfortunate events, all of which were of his own doing due to his own immaturity.
He continually lied about the gun, he failed to get help for the mule immediately and then he lied about shooting it. Running away proves he hasn’t grown up. Even his rambling about proving to them he’s a man is more inane silliness and only proves further that he has not matured at all. Dave felt that he needed a gun to prove he was a man and gain respect but it proved to be his undoing and sadly, it ruined his young life. Just as we saw in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” both teens are trying to gain maturity and independence before they were ready.
In comparison, Connie was creating a whole different persona when she went out with her friends. She would bring clothes and makeup with her and change at into a bubbly outgoing girl trying to attract all the boys’ attention. She would sneak across the street from the mall to the drive-in where the older kids hung out and meet older boys there. Connie used makeup and clothing to make herself feel more like a grown-up. Dave, on the other hand felt like he needed to own a gun to feel like a man.
It gave him power. He was as good as the white people when he had a gun. But their desire to grow up too fast was the downfall for both teens and resulted in a less than happy ending for each of them. Dave ran away from home on a train with nothing to his name except the clothes on his back and a gun. Connie drove off to her death in the car of who was presumably either the devil or a killer/rapist depending on your interpretation. My takeaway is the moral of both stories is don’t be in such a rush to grow up!