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I drew nearer, thinking that my step forward had actually helped, but my grandfather lifted his face and his eyes were very sad, and I knew he was disappointed. (116)

In Robert Olen Butler’s “Mr. Green,” the first person point-of-view helps readers relate to the story. Witnessing first-hand the grief the narrator receives from her grandfather allows readers to become an empathetic audience. The grandfather criticizes the narrator for being a woman and reminds her often that she can’t do anything because she’s not a man. We, as readers, are able to experience the narrator’s struggle with trying to be available to complete tasks for her grandfather as he grows older, but he steadily denies her this opportunity because she is not a man. As the narrator ages throughout the story, she learns how demeaning her grandfather’s comments were and becomes more infuriated with them. Mr. Green is a living memory of the narrator’s grandfather, and when she has finally had enough of her grandfather’s living belittlement, she kills Mr. Green. Growing in her self-confidence as a woman, the narrator realizes that she is just as qualified to do any task just as well as, or even better, than a man.  Readers are able to experience first-hand the growth the narrator has in herself and her capabilities.

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