Correspondence between a Child’s Speech Disorder and Psychological Health: An Appraisal of Vince Vawter’s Paperboy

Md. Mozaffor Hossain

Vince Vawter in his debut novel, Paperboy, delineates an eleven-year-old boy who stutters severely, cannot even utter his own name and substitutes his best friend on a certain vacation to deliver daily newspapers to the houses in the neighborhood of Memphis. From the moments he starts talking, he finds his speaking organs stutter, which makes him undergo weird circumstances and mental strains. Since he fails to talk normally and mispronounces words, many listeners, both children and aged ones show objectionable reactions toward him or at least give him a differently meaningful look that speaks loudly of his incapability of producing smooth speech. He can read vividly what other people regard him to be, which makes him feel lesser human. This exercises substantially poignant impacts on his psychic health. He suffers lower kind of self-respect and nurtures a negative connotation of the outer world where people seem not to understand his inner-self and worth, and thus fail to esteem him duly. Accordingly, this article concentrates on the semblance of the difficulties the paperboy as a child goes through because of his speech disorder and the sort of psychological anomalies he suffers and fights with as a consequence. It thereby aims at illustrating the affiliation between a child’s speech impediment and his psychological fitness in the light of Vince Vawter’s novel, Paperboy.  

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