Man on the Mountain

“A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed. Remember this thing. I have known a boy forty years old.”(Steinbeck). In the short story “Flight”, John Steinbeck writes about a boy named Pepe and his journey to manhood. Pepe is a nineteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother and two siblings on a ranch on the wild coast in Big Sur, California. His excitement to do a ‘mans job’ and ride to Monterey by himself to get medicine for his mother makes Pepe feels like a man but Pepe continues to act like a child which leads him into serious trouble.   Now this boy must leave his family and go up into the mountains and become a man.
Before Pepe takes this job up to Monterey to get the medicine, his mother would refer to him as a ‘peanut’ and not a man. Since Pepe’s father died, Pepe want to presume to role of man, but Pepe tries to become a man to quickly. Pepe’s only symbol of manhood at this point is the knife that he inherited from his father. All day you do foolish things with the knife, like a toy baby,"(Steinbeck) Pepe’s mother said before asking him to go to Monterey. This scene foreshadows Pepe’s murder, as a man should handle a knife, a man tool, and in the hands a child it is dangerous. “When Pepé returns, he has killed a man with his father's knife, left behind him at the scene of the crime. The look of innocence is gone; he has been shocked by a fact of life, an extreme independent act. His mother quickly understands and helps him
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outfit himself for the flight into the mountains”(Vogel).   Pepe’s character went from being an innocent boy to man and there is no turning back into childhood now, he must continue his manhood up in mountains and pay for what he has done.
For three days and three nights, Pepe matures as he rides through the mountains to stay ahead of his followers. But when he stops to nap under a tree, everything goes wrong. Pepe is tired and hungry and needs to rest, as same does his horse. He is awakened when...