A Thought Provoking Journey: Half A Life By Darin Strauss

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Half A life: a thought provoking journey
How do humans deal with death? Why does tragic loss seem to take control of one’s life?
The memoir: Half A Life by Darin Strauss attempts to answer questions such as these, as well as take the reader through a deeply spiritual journey. Strauss was thrown into this confusing and emotional time after he hit Celine Zilke, a girl from his high school, with his car when he was just eighteen. Zilke ended up dying from the injuries she suffered, and even though Celine’s death was not Strauss’s fault, he is forced to deal with the guilt of taking a life. Throughout the memoir, Strauss’s dramatic tone creates intense feelings within the reader. His use of insightful imagery paints a picture in the readers mind, …show more content…

Strauss accomplishes this through the usage of short sentences, which creates several pauses to let his words sink in. For example, “Maybe I hadn’t felt the right amount of alarm. Just before the girl jumped across two lanes.”(Page 115) Strauss starts to overthink the accident and he kept finding ways to make himself feel guilty. Strauss’s usage of these simple, short sentences made me feel as if he was having trouble speaking about the topic because it was such an intense moment. I felt as if he was choking as he tried to write it, which created a sense of emotional drama within me. Another example of Strauss’s dramatic tone: “Self-hate is rarely unconditional. I don’t pretend it’s alright that I felt even half-okay, for even half a minute.” (Page 59) Strauss conveys his feelings to the reader about not knowing how to act around people after the accident. Everyone from his high school found out what had happened, and Strauss tries to figure out how to approach his feelings during this tough situation. Should he walk with glowing confidence? Should he act depressed and upset? These are the thoughts running through Strauss’s mind as he was flustered, as well as

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