The Rocket Boys Essay

Words: 568
Pages: 3

Rocket Boys: Man vs. Society Societies, at times, can be said to have a mind of their own. When established, especially if it surrounds specific ideals, purposes, and traditions, growing up in a society can often seem constricting, as if certain aspects of the path for one’s future has already been laid out. The same can be said for the coal mining towns of the mid-1900s, with even more emphasis on the purpose of the towns and the occupations of its inhabitants. Growing up in a coal mining town, the individual often blends into the group; people live out their lives in the town, but the town only survives by working for the company.
One example of man going against society is the idea of an individual (or a smaller group of individuals) fighting against a larger organization, one seemingly alive thanks to the efforts of the individuals. The town of Coalwood, West Virginia started out as a coal mining town, and would only endure as long as profitable coal remained in the earth. The town, under control of a major coal company, provided workers for the mine and coal for the company. The beginning of the novel placed a strong emphasis on how much control resided in the both figurative and literal hands of the company; the roads, offices, churches, and hotels were all company owned, and houses were painted company white (Hickam, Jr. 1). Despite the constant reminder of the company’s control, the people of Coalwood, for the most part, were content with their lives as long as things remained fair.
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For Homer “Sonny” Hickam, Jr., growing up in Coalwood meant trying out for the football team and growing up to work in the mines or join the military. The society within Coalwood put much of their pride within their high school’s football team, and becoming a player essentially gave one a higher social status according to the