“The Dare” by George Hoffmann is an essay that perfectly conveys feelings and emotions of a seven grade boy who had undertaken an extremely risky adventure. The essay is written by the author in his adulthood but, nevertheless, he still manages to create this essay as if he is still in his childhood. At the same time, the essay is interrupted by the narration of an adult who critically evaluates his own actions in his youth that makes practically the entire essay a kind of flashback. His thesis is that sometimes people commit crazy acts to prove themselves among peers and society at large but such acts are not always reasonable.
The essay is well structured. It provides a clear setting and introduction to the main event. The tension of the story steadily grows from the calm depiction of traditional activities of children to some anti-social acts. In such a way, the author creates a clear perception of what kind of a boy the narrator was in his childhood. The climax of the story appears practically at the end of the essay when the narrator dived under the train and this part of the essay conveys the feelings and emotions of the boy who was really scared. Finally, the story ends happily for the narrator and in the denouement readers learn that the narrator is in safety and he got the admiration of his peers, which, though, he does not care about anymore.
Obviously, this essay target basically at the young audience, the youth that does not care about social norms and general rules and that dares to violate them. The author shows that such challenging of rules may lead to disastrous effects and even useless death at the young age. In fact, the internal protest of the youth and the necessity to obey to the social norms and rules are the central themes of the essay.