‘Am I Blue?’ – a Significant Piece of Work or a Modern Controversy?

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This essay is concerned with the short story ‘Am I Blue’ by Bruce Coville, and aim to identify and comment upon the themes presented in the short story such as the issues of adolescence, tolerance, homosexuality and sexual identity in general. Since its release in 1994, Bruce Coville’s short story has been subject to both praise and approval as well as controversy and criticism. This essay focuses on these various aspects. The protagonist, Vince, is a young boy who is questioning his own sexuality. Whilst dealing with this sexual confusion, he is also subject to bullying from a fellow schoolmate for being gay. The bullied teenager finds himself aided throughout the story by the…show more content…
The story may also give the readers hope that the world eventually will treat every sort of person well, and that homosexual or sexually confused teens, will be able to handle what may be some tough years of adolescence. As a consequence, these teens may be better suited to manage the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Some of Coville’s defenders encourage adults to ‘teach tolerance and respect for all people […] This is impossible by ignoring a whole group of people […] This isn’t about homosexuality being right or wrong, it’s about kids learning to think for themselves.’ (Marcovitz 2005:97). By this quote one might sense that the story has a controversial side to it. As the acceptance of sexual differences might not be the norm across every community, stories like ‘Am I blue?’ may in some circles represent a threat to what certain people consider as the common convention in their area. Therefore, ‘Am I blue?’ has been subject to numerous discussions and controversy over the years. Coville, however, disagrees with his critics and is rather worried about conservative opinions that still exist within the modern society of today. Coville argues: In ‘Am I Blue?’ there is a story of tolerance, which a certain subset of our culture has a big problem with. I had hope that once we passed the 2000 millennium madness, that would fade, but I no longer feel

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