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Throughout the story “Dane” written by David Adams Richards, the poor friend of the main character, changes significantly. As the young boy gets older, his life begins to deteriorate. In the beginning the 5-year-old boy is a normal child but earns his own money so he can enjoy his childhood activities. As the boy gets older he begins to get into trouble by drinking and stealing. He dropped out of school even though he was top of his class, after he spend a few days with a ‘better off family’ during his hockey trip.Towards the end of the story he becomes an alcoholic, and briefly reconnects with his childhood friend, before being killed in a car accident. The poor boy earns his own money in order to play sports as a child. He plays on the hockey team and creates his own baseball and cricket team. He organizes games against other parts of town. While the other boys in the community played with slingshots and hunted birds or squirrels, “he hunted the neighbor’s windows, porch flower pots, and the lights that shone near his street” (8) but he didn’t harm any animals.When the narrator took him to the movies the boy left him to be with other friends. To the surprise of the reader and the narrator he came back to watch the movie with his friend. During the movie the boy admits to the narrator that he snuck into the movie theatre that the narrator’s father owns, without paying. The narrator admits to doing the same thing at the ice rink and a bond forms between them. This is when the boy’s life begins to spiral downwards. As the story develops the boy’s life deteriorates.Even though he was top of the class in school, he had to repeat a year as he lost interest in school and began drinking. When he went on his hockey trip, he was spoiled by “one of the better families” (31) which showed him of all the things he couldn’t have. This is when he began his drinking on a regular basis. He broke into the theatre, after breaking out of jail, and stole cartoons of cigarettes and boxes of chocolates, and when he returned to the jail, he hid the items in his mattress.The prison is his second home. The reader can only assume he enjoys doing wrong so he can sleep in a real bed for a few nights. Although the young man is trouble in the town and an alcoholic, other teenagers look out for him when he passes out drunk in the snow. The people in the town are relieved that his life came to an end. The “people said it was for the best” (45) as there wasn’t much further downhill his life could go. Just a few days before the accident, he reconnected with his childhood friend.It’s not till the end of the story that we are given the name of the narrator, Jess. We are given his name while the drunken adult male is threatening to assault him. The very last two sentences in the story leave the reader with several questions. Was he the one driving the car, possibly drunk? Did a car hit him? Was he just a passenger in the collision? As the young boy develops into an adult, he changed his life dramatically and in the wrong direction. Richards D. A. “Dane. ” Mercury Reader. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2011. 63-67. Print.

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