Psychiatric Report
"The Stone Boy"
I would like to bring to your attention one of my new patients, Arnold Curwing. Mr. Curwing, 21, lives a quiet life alone withdrawn from his family and friends. He has lived these past 12 years in frustration and isolation, unable to be confident, unable to express feelings. This was shown when he came in to my office that day with his hands in his pocket, shirt not tucked and tilting his head towards the floor; avoiding eye contact. He had very poor communicating skills and plus he had been very nervous. I understand that before the accident, Mr. Curwing was once a very charming and enthusiastic boy. One whom I should mention was very fond of his older brother and greatly admired him. I have clearly reviewed a detailed incident with Mr. Curwing, an incident which has been the most important factor in shaping Arnold\'s life choices and his state of mind.
The day of the accident, Eugie had promised Arnold that he would go pick peas with him. Arnold carried his 22-caliber rifle with him hoping that "…if there were any ducks… he\'d take a shot at them."(p.1) On their way to picking peas, they had to climb "…through the wire fence that divided the wheat field from the marshy pasture around the lake."(p.2) Eugie had gone first. When it was Arnold\'s turn, his rifle caught on a wire and consequently fired. The next moment, his brother, Eugie fell forward, dead.
Some would suggest that Arnold, being the youngest, was jealous, but the evidence suggests that Arnold greatly admired Eugie, making his death even more traumatic. Eugie was the eldest in the family. He was tall and had a very good figure: "Arnold never tired of watching Eugie offer silent praise unto himself."(p.2) Arnold greatly admired his brother and wished to be just like Eugie when he grew up. He wondered that, "…if when he got to be Eugie\'s age he would still be undersized and his hair still straight."(p.2) Clearly, Arnold wanted to be like his brother. Therefore, when Arnold noticed the bright blood of his brother, "…like that of a parasite,"(p.3) he became scared. In fact, he was in total shock and did not know what to do. The death of his brother made him feel as if he had just lost a part of his own life.
Arnold\'s feelings about his brother\'s death can explain his behaviour following the death. First of all, Arnold, traumatic from the accident, did not know what to do. All he remembered was the reason why they had gone out that morning; to pick peas. Arnold seemed calm about the accident because he was in shock. In reality, he was also scared to go home right away, not knowing how the rest of the family would react. These feelings were noted while he was picking the peas: "…his hands were strange to him, and not until some time had passed did he realise that the pods were numbing his fingers."(p.3) He was left with no feelings. "When he got up his legs were so stiff that he had to go down on his knees again." Just as Arnold was in physical pain, and didn\'t realize it, he also did not immediately recognise his emotional pain.
The reaction of the family immediately after they found out about accident scared Arnold even more. He ended up hiding up in the loft, to be as far away from his family as possible. Arnold thought that, "…he would stay up in the loft forever, out of the way."(p.3) His fear of his family could possibly be attributed to their unusual reaction to him. As well perhaps, Arnold felt that he was not very useful and he was never sure if he would turn out just like his brother: he knew that he had taken something he could never replace. This is not Arnold\'s fault though, he was lack of all the other attentions his brother got that he never got. To make matters worst, Arnold had to face everyone else\'s reactions and comments about the whole accident, "…the others set their cold, turbulent silence against him."(p.4) He noticed that both the sheriff and his Uncle Andy