It’s amazing how much a trip to the barber shop can mean to a boy. There is so much that a child can notice and think about. In the story “David’s haircut”, David is taken to the barber shop by his dad. The event of getting their hair cut together has smoothened out to being pure routine for the father and the son. When David was a child David’s dad used to chase David around, and pretend that he would cut his ears off. At the barbershop David is getting an insight into how the grown-up life is. The things David notices at the barbershop brings meaning to the story. In the following essay I intend to analyze the symbolisms in “David’s haircut”. I will try to understand what David is feeling about growing older and maybe not being a child anymore.
“When David steps out of the front door he is blinded for a moment by the white, fizzing sunlight and reaches instinctively for his dad’s hand.” Right from the beginning of the story you get this felling of a close bond between David and his father. As they step out from their household door, David is maybe a little scared by the bright white light. Consequently he reaches for his dad’s hand, because he gets comfort from him. Clearly it shows that David is still a child in the beginning of the story, and that he still needs safety from his father. The barbershop is located above a chip shop (Fish and Chips shop), from which you learn that the story may take place in England. They take the stairs from the chip shop and up to the barbershop. David can’t make the stairs creak like his father can, and that annoys him. Obviously a part of him wants to grow up enough to make the stairs creak, since he’s annoyed by the fact that he can’t. David really enjoys being at the barbershop. “David loves the barbershop – it’s like nowhere else he goes” David finds it really exciting and does everything he can to absorb his surroundings with his senses. He notices the special scents, and the atmosphere in the barbershop.
There are black and white photographs hanging in the end of the room, which shows that the story might as well have taken place 80 years ago. Mr. Samuels; whom is the owner of the barber shop; he uses Brylcreem, which was a popular hair styling product in the 1930’s. The occasional visit to the barber shop gives David an insight to the grown-up world. “The rate you’re shooting up, you won’t need this soon, you’ll be sat in the chair” David gets very excited about the idea of him soon being able to get up in the chair by himself. Furthermore he instantly wants to tell his dad, who he can see through the mirror in front of him. “Finally David’s dad looks up from his newspaper and glances into the mirror, seeing his son looking back at him. He smiles.” “Wasn’t so long ago when I had to lift you onto that board because you couldn’t climb up there yourself,” he says. “They don’t stay young for long do they, kids,” Mr Samuels declares. All the men in the shop nod in agreement. David nods too.” The dad is realizing that David is getting older and that he is reminiscing to back then when he had to lift David onto the board.
David is maybe feeling a part of the group of the other men in the barbershop, as he is nodding with the other men in agreement with Mr. Samuels’ statement about kids not staying young for long. “Looking down he sees his own thick, blonde hair scattered among the browns, greys and blacks of the men who have sat in the chair before him. For a moment he wants to reach down and gather up the broken blonde locks, to separate them from the others, but he does not have time”. David is in doubt of he is ready to grow old yet, because as he is seeing his hair amongst the other men’s hair on the floor he doesn’t feel that the hair fits in just yet. He even gets an urge to separate his blonde hair from the other darker hair. “The youngster is excited and grabs his dad’s hand. The thick-skinned fingers close gently around his and David is surprised to find, warming in his father’s palm, a lock of his own hair.” When they get out of barbershop, David grabs his dad’s hand, and finds a lock of his own hair in the hand. Undoubtedly it symbolizes that the father wants David to remain a child a little longer, and that he does not have to rush his growth.
In conclusion the bond between David and his father is strong and they enjoy spending time together. David was lifted up in the chair at the barbershop as a child and that isn’t something David’s dad will forget. They’ve grown a strong bond with each other, it has grown stronger for every time they’ve been at the barbershop together. The father knows that David can’t stay young forever, and he is accepting that, but he still wishes that he and David still will spend time together. “For a moment he wants to reach down and gather up the broken blonde locks, to separate them from the others, but he does not have time” The essence of the story is that you can’t stop time. No matter how bad you want it to stop you’ll just have to accept the fact. “In the reflection from the window he could see through the window, a few small clouds moved slowly through the frame, moving to the sound of the scissors’ click.” Similarly the clouds don’t stop moving just like time, even though it can seem slow. The scissors’ clicks are moving with the clouds. Since David has had so many haircuts they represent time on a general level. In relation, the title of the story “David’s haircut”, is symbolizing David’s transition from being a child and onto being an adult.