This blog post is the third in a series that examines the major themes in Billy Maddox Takes His Shot. Check out the reader’s guide on this website to learn more.
Back in college, usually after my English major friends and I had had a little too much to drink, we liked to wax about the idea that “man is alone in the universe”. It is a topic often explored by literature. When friendship rears its head, as a kind of salve to isolation, that friendship often turns to betrayal or abandonment.
Hamlet is betrayed by Rosencrantz and Guidenstern. Gene shakes the tree and Phineas falls out in John Knowles’ A Separate Peace. The film, Good Will Hunting, shows Chuckie (played by Ben Affleck) opining pretty directly that his friend Will (Matt Damon’s character), will eventually leave their blue-collar friendship because he is a math genius who will eventually be sought after by some huge corporate or government interest.