In the first part of the story, we can see that Travis, a fourteen-year old boy, wanted to take big responsibilities like those of his father, Papa. The opportunity came when Papa and the other men left the settlement to go and sell cattle in a market in Abilene, Kansas. They had to do this because they were very low on money after the Civil War. Travis was left with many big responsibilities that Papa did. Travis was going to try as hard as possible to do well with his new big responsibilities to prove his parents that he was a man now or was beginning to be.
During the first part of the story, Travis realized that his responsibilities required a lot more effort than what he thought. Travis wouldn’t have been able to do all his responsibilities without the big help of Old Yeller. Old Yeller was a big aid to Travis and his family. At first, Travis disagreed in adopting Old Yeller but soon that will all change. During the challenges that Travis faced, we could see that he acted maturely.
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For example, when Little Arliss was going to be attacked by a mad mother bear, Travis acted quickly and ran to try to save Little Arliss instead of ignoring his screams. Also, Travis didn’t give up on the chore, no matter how hard the responsibility was. Plus, he had the help of Old Yeller which he started to love. In the other hand, there were other moments that he didn’t act mature instead he acted childlike. How could he not act childlike? He was still a boy and had a dog which he could have some fun sometimes.
Old Yeller helped Travis act mature and childlike. Old Yeller helped Travis in doing task like marking the pigs, keeping away wild creatures from eating the winter corn, and hunt or fish animals for food. Also, he helped Travis protect his family. At the end of the story, Travis had to shoot Old Yeller because it was bitten by a wolf with hydrophobia,a very contagious and dangerous disease. It was a very hard decision for Travis to whether to shoot Old Yeller or not. It would have been a very hard decision ,as well, to anyone who loved its own dog.
It showed that Travis was mature enough to take big decisions that involved his family safety and well being. A change that can be noticed in Travis. When Papa came back from his long journey,he sees that Travis had learned a lot and matured from the experiences he had been through. He gives Travis an advice of not worrying about bad moments during good moments because it will make it all bad. Another change of him was to love Old Yeller instead of hating him like in the beginning.