Bless the Beasts and Children

by: Glendon Swarthout

Chapters 4–6

Cotton's determination becomes particularly apparent in this part of the novel. Swarthout recounts Cotton's first realization about his duties to lead, writing, "Cotton lay thinking. Is this the time. What've I got to work with. I teeth- grinder. A head-banger. Two actual bedwetters. A nail-biter and overeater. And a thumb-sucker and bad-dreamer. And they all sleep with radios and talk in their sleep. I'm the only one normal out of six. I'm the only one who can do it. And if I don't now, it'll be too late. So get the lead out. Get the show on the road." From this passage, Cotton demonstrates a sense of obligation toward his fellow campers. Despite the group's initial disunity and lack of potential, Cotton seems to develop faith in them as the story progresses, thinking at one point, "We'll go home supermen, I swear to God."