Daniel Astorga Astorga 1
March 8, 2011
Sagittarius: Family Love
The story of the “Sagittarius,” by Greg Hrbek, is one that questions the functions of families and their love for each other. This family is pushed to its limits in trying to find Sebastian, the youngest of the family. Sebastian has run away into the forest surrounding their secluded house. The father, Martin, and mother, Isabel, have set out to find Sebastian, and Kaden, the eldest son, stays at home waiting impatiently for his family to return. Martin and Isabel experience a roller coaster of feelings and thoughts throughout their search. This roller coaster of emotions was crucial for the family, especially Martin.
Living in a secluded area does not expose people to things out of the ordinary. Forest nature is nearly perfect, and rarely has dramatic changes. This family is the only thing out of the ordinary in the forest. Within the four walls of the house is a creature. This creature isn’t an ordinary creature found in the forest. It is a Sagittarius, half man, half beast. The family is distraught by the change. The father is not sure about the Sagittarius, the mother loves the Sagittarius and the brother wants to understand the Sagittarius. Therefore, throughout all this confusion, to what extent does someone have to go to notice his or her love for something?
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Isabel completely loves her newborn, Sebastian. When Isabel laid eyes on Sebastian she completely fell in love. She saw “a beautiful boy from waist up, and from waist down, a beautiful horse” (Hrbek, 116).
Her motherly love is so strong, that she does not see deformation in her son, but all around beauty. The doctors at the hospital diagnosed Sebastian with having all sorts of mutations and conditions that has made him the way he is. They see a monster and they want to fix it. The doctors advise Isabel to allow Sebastian to go through a series of surgeries to help him become somewhat normal, but Isabel does not believe the surgeries are necessary.
When Isabel is out searching for Sebastian she thinks about her future and what it might hold. “An impression of a place she will be one day. Dark, solitary, cut off from lovers and children” (Hrbek, 107).
Isabel is walking alone, helpless, and in the dark. She is pondering about death and the darkness it brings with it. On the other hand, a family brings warmth and joy to the soul, one thing she will not go without. It’s this fire in her soul that pushes her to go after her son. Moreover, she carried him around for nine months and after his birth she still carries him inside her. “She’d made a place in her mind and heart, and now he would step into that shape and fit it perfectly, fill it perfectly” (Hrbek, 111).
Isabel has a permanent spot for him in her heart and mind; she is one hundred percent dedicated to her family.
On the other hand, Martin is not sure about Sebastian. Martin doesn’t feel the love for Sebastian like Isabel does. He rejects the fact that Sebastian is not normal and is not going to be, but he walks into the house nonchalantly.
“Then he walked in the door and his older son grabbed him by the hand and pulled him back into the sunroom where his wife was waiting and beaming
with joy; and then he saw the reason- the baby was standing, standing on all four feet- and he couldn’t understand why, but his spirits simply collapsed, and all his
hopes seemed like a fantasy compared to the concrete fact of the creature in the playpen” (Hrbek, 111).
At the sight of Sebastian, Martin gives up. His spirits are clenched by the fact that his son is a creature and not a human being. Up to this point Martin was in shock and in denial about his son, but now the shock has been shaken and his denial has become reality. However, his hopes of changing his son do not fade away. “He’ll get used to standing like this. We won’t be able to break him of the habit” (Hrbek, 112).
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Martin still hasn’t made room in his mind or heart for Sebastian.
Kaden, Sebastian’s older brother, is only three years old. Martin definitely loves Kaden because he is normal. He doesn’t judge or restrict Kaden of anything. Kaden sees Sebastian as a baby horse, and wants to see what the foal can do. There is no doubt that Kaden has already accepted his little brother into the family. A display of his acceptance can be demonstrated when he feels as if he is at fault for letting his family out of the house. “Now the boy feels a heat, like a candle burning in his belly” (Hrbek, 113).
Kaden, then, asks himself, why isn’t he out
there trying to find his little brother? The love he has for his brother drives him out into the scary night and onto the dangerous road.
A loving family has love for every member in the family. There is no balancing scale for love in a given family. Love for a family member cannot be measured. Moreover, love for a family member is automatic. This is similar to the conception of a human being. A human being is said to be human at the time of conception, which forms the embryo. “…, the embryo is complete or whole organism, though immature” (Lee, and George, 14).
Since Martin’s love for Sebastian isn’t there at the time of his first recollection of him, can he shape his love for him with time?
At the time of conception of the embryo, it is still immature. This means that the embryo is not yet fully developed. Therefore, we do not know what features the embryo is
going to possess. These features can be the gender, ethnicity, and in the later stages of a human being, personality. This concept can be put intact with Martin’s feelings toward Sebastian. Martin’s feelings are still developing and will soon mature. Time heals a lot of things, and love for a family member is subject to healing.
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In conclusion, Martin’s love for Sebastian sprung from inside him when Sebastian went missing. The roller coaster of emotions that Marin experienced has led him to create room for Sebastian in his mind and heart. This is the case for almost everything in real life. No one knows what they have lost until it is gone. Martin truly realizes the complete family, he and Isabel,
have created when they reunite. Sometimes it takes more than one event to notice what you actually cherish. Martin didn’t realize he had a blessing when Sebastian “the Sagittarius” was born, and then Sebastian had to go missing for him to realize exactly what he had lost. Furthermore, it is not what we see, but what we feel that we cherish the most. What we see can be deceiving but everything we feel is true.
Lee, Patrick, and Robert P. George. “Abortion.” Abortion. Blackwell Publishing. Web.
Sebold, Alice, and Heidi Pitlor. “Sagittarius.” The Best American Short Stories 2009. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. Print.