Thursday, November 09, 2006

Week Three: Good Morning, Sunshine

This week's reading, Scenes from Provincial Life by J.M. Coetzee, was a three part story about his life in South Africa. He broke it into three different parts to exaggerate his situation within his family and scholastic experience. The most shocking part of this piece was in the second portion in which he describes the boys in his class getting beaten by their teachers. He writes about his friends getting the strap and the disgrace they went through. This was like a scene in Charles Bukowski's book Ham on Rye, where he gets beat by his father because he didn't cut the grass in the correct pattern. Coetzee and Bukowski write about their abuse in terms that those growing up now who aren't subject to beatings can try to comprehend. Most cannot relate to the punishment these folks underwent but the situation is widespread, whether it is in South Africa, America, or Canada in residential schools. This story could have been written anywhere at the time and the reason we find it so shocking now is that abuse isn't evident but in the past it was a regular practice. This story wasn't just about the abuse in the school but of the relation between the protagonist and his family, focusing on their communication and lack their of. This was a excellent illustration of the idioms of family structure and the role a young man plays in shaping his destiny. Bukowski and Coetzee used their tribulations as inspiration, showing that making it through a difficult situation can be beneficial and that one appreciates the light that much more after being in the dark.
Explorations: Tips for Persuasive Writing:
I’ve tattooed these fourteen steps onto my arm permanently. They are extremely helpful with this difficult essay. I preferred this list because it is straight forward and good as a quick reference. This persuasive essay is going to be fun to write by the looks of it. I have chosen to write mine from the perspective of an old curmudgeon, complaining about the skateboard park in Esquimalt. I find it easier to write from the perspective of an argument that I don’t actually believe, I am a skateboarder so I don’t want the park destroyed but I can see both sides of the argument and make the side I don’t believe in have holes in it.
Classmate Comments: Ashley250: I like your title, “Spreading Chinese Culture Everywhere”, makes me want to think of an interesting subtitle for my page. There are no explorations on this page but maybe they will show up.
dstrawberry: This blog makes me feel like I am all caught up with my entries. Sorry to hear that you have to work three jobs but you have to do what you have to do!

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