The Importance of Compassion in Ironman by Chris Crutcher
Compassion, going out of a person’s way to help and care for others;
the key to any healthy relationship. Being there for the people we care about is very important. In the novel Ironman by Chris Crutcher, many people have gone through tragic situations in their lives and lack compassion towards each other. However, a character named Shelly acts differently. Shelly is a caring, but fierce athlete who continually shows compassion towards others. Similarly, Abby Mallard from the movie Chicken Little is a kind duck who gives advice and has a passion to help the people she cares about. Both Shelly and Abby have situations that support the idea that having compassion for each other builds good relationships.
In the novel Ironman, Shelly shows compassion to Bo many times throughout the book. One example of this compassion was in the weight room. When Ian Wyrack; Bo’s antagonist, was talking to him, Shelly knew that he was going to cause trouble. She stood there with her arms crossed in the back watching Ian walk over to Bo. Ian Wyrack started talking poorly about Bo, which caused Bo to tell him to go eat sh*t and die. Because of this conversation, Ian Wyrack lifted his hand by Bo’s face about to punch him. Shelly, recognizing the situation showed compassion by stepping in to help him not get beat up. “With the speed of greased lightning, Shelly’s right arm blocks it as her foot sweeps his legs, carving them at the knees” (Crutcher 88). Shelly had stopped Bo from getting hit. Ian Wrack was shocked by what happened. Still upset, Shelly shouted at Ian and made him apologize for trying to hurt Bo. When he did not apologize right away, she put more and more pressure on his arm until he finally apologized and laid off of him. By stepping in and showing support for Bo, Shelly bravely showed compassion. After the incident was over, Bo was astonished that she helped her and started to really like Shelly. Bo was relieved that he didn't get hit, and glad that someone cared about him enough to help block a punch for him. Their relationship grew because of Shelly’s compassion towards Bo. Not too much after, Shelly and Bo ended up dating and supported each other no matter what. In addition to Shelly showing compassion to Bo, Abby Mallard showed compassion to the character Chicken Little. When Chicken Little told the city that the sky was falling and no one believed him, he got plenty of hate including his dad being disappointed in him. One day when Abby and Chicken Little were in the gym and Chicken Little was upset about his situation with his dad, Abby showed compassion for Chicken Little by giving him advice and support. Chicken Little was trying to avoid his dad, and said that he is just a loser that nobody likes. That caused Abby to say, “Stop messing around with the problem and deal with it. Stop the squawk and try the talk. You are not a loser!” (Chicken Little). By giving advice and showing compassion for Chicken Little when he was feeling upset, helped show Chicken Little that she wanted to help him with his conflicts. The compassion and advice to Chicken Little helped grow their friendship knowing that Chicken Little has a friend who supports him, and tries to help solve his conflicts.
In conclusion, standing up and being there for the people we care about through tough times is crucial in building relationships. Shelly and Abby Mallard have proven that by showing compassion for their friends during times of conflict. With the compassion shown from these characters, Bo and Chicken little benefited significantly knowing that someone was there for them when they needed help the most.