Analysis Of How The Books Affected My Life

As your parents would say, “What did you do at school today?” well, this is what I learned this year. As a student, this year I learned a lot in the English class. I learned topics from an Indian boy wanting to accomplish his dreams, from a crooked witch story, to what it's like in war. After all these stories and novels, these writings had an affect on my thinking and view them from a different perspective. Through the written works of The Things They Carried and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, quotes and details of the books affected the way I viewed the works.

In the novel, The Things They Carried, the author Tim O’Brien writes about his war stories and how it kept him sane and how it changed him. The book affected me by giving me a viewpoint I’ve never had. It showed me some of what soldiers can go through in the war. The quote, “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place…”, show us what the men had to witness and go through. This made me think of what I would do if I were in this situation. If I was in this war, I would not know what to do. This would drive me insane. This affected me by giving me a snippet of war and made me try to put myself in the soldiers' shoes. Tim saw men die and even though it was not him who killed them, he feels like it is because he lost his focus on the war. When O’Brien wrote about these men dying, he wrote the stories from his point of view and made it seem like it was him who caused these casualties. To me this makes me seem like O’Brien wanted to give us a deeper meaning of the book and make us think differently. I can closely relate to some of this because my great grandfather fought in this war and fought for this country but I didn't have time to ask him about his stories of his experiences because he had passed away. When you tell stories you start to realize more and more things that happened and it starts to affect you more.

In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the author writes about a young boy who wants to pursue his dreams and prove other people wrong. Sherman Alexie introduces a character that goes by Junior. Junior was born with a disease that causes water in his brain which made him not as capable and of doing tasks like the other students could. His family was poor and when they had his dog, Oscar, the father had to shoot and kill him because they could not afford veterinarian bills and to care for it when it became sick. The quote from Chapter Four says, “My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from. That is absolutely saddest thing in the world.” This made me think of how thankful we should be in our school system because not all students get to experience new textbooks and new school supplies as we do. This made me try to put myself in Junior’s shoes and his classmates' shoes and try to experience the difficulty of being in poverty and made me be more forgiveful for what we have at school.

In conclusion, the novels, The Things They Carried and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, affected me in different ways. One affected my way of thinking on life and made me become for thankful for what we have. The other showed me some of what war is like and what they had to experience during the war. The novel that affected me the most was The Things They Carried because I can relate to it because my family fought in the Vietnam War. 

16 December 2021
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