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But to Nal’s dismay, the ladies of Athertown flocked to Samson in greater multitudes than before. Girls trailed him down the boardwalk, clucking stupidly about the new waxy sheen on his head. Samson was seventeen and had what Nal could only describe with a big laugh and the deep serenity of a grazing creature.

seagullsRussell takes the element of an unusual amount of seagulls at this beach and makes it normal. However, it makes me question what is the actual purpose of the seagulls is to this coming-of-age story. I also question if the seagulls are physically there or are they a representation of the freedom and confidence that surrounds Nal. In the above quote, Russell describes Samson as a seagull; therefore, I believe that the seagulls could be a representation of the people in Nal’s life and his surrounding environment. I also believe the seagulls illustrates what Nal longs to be like. When the seagull snatches the hamburger patty out of the sandwich, it appears that this is Russell’s way to foreshadow how Samson takes the girl that Nal likes without Nal putting up a fight. I just wish the purpose of the seagulls was clearer to me.

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