Young Titans: Kees

In “Young Titans” by Nescio, the story surrounds the lives of five young men grappling with their idealistic dreams and the realties of life and getting older in a rapidly changing city. I’ll be focusing on Kees. As a young man Kees wanted to be the boss, he wanted to flip the switch and be the one bossing his boss around, “cursing at people who can never do anything right.” Like his friends, he wanted to get out of his dreary office job but unlike his friends- he doesn’t seem to have a plan to get there. His friends love walking along the dikes and being outdoors but Kees is frequently asleep, goes home early, or doesn’t come at all. He is the only friend who we don’t hear of having some creative pursuit and the fact that he doesn’t spend as much time with his friends gallivanting around leads me to believe that he doesn’t value nature or the rural landscape very much. He values money- getting ahead, sleeping, and his family. However Kees’ relationship with the urban landscape is much more prominent. He works in the city, in an office, spends lots of his time in his attic, the urban space is where he is King- his friends come to him in his space, for brief stretches, he is the boss he aches to be.

Kees has a home away from home of sorts- his attic. It’s the most important place to Kees that we read about. He decorates it with the help of his friends and spends a lot of time there, especially with his friends during the summer. The attic only has one window that only shows “a sliver of sky”. Over time Kees goes through job after job and his father eventually gets him one he can keep, it’s menial labor- routine and boring but it pays for a stuffy apartment, wife, and multiple children. He wishes he had listened to his father sooner.

Like his friends, Kees hasn’t lived up to the idealistic dreams of his youth and his precious attic now belong to his sister, and she doesn’t utilize like he would. His cramped apartment will have to do.

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