Jess Walters is an author who has a tendency to center his stories around characters who seem to fall short in life. You can see this theme when you compare his stories “Famous Actor” and “Anything Helps,” in which both main characters are people who seem to the reader to have fallen short in some area of their life. In “Famous Actor” we have our protagonist Katherine who describes herself in the story as “... the most fucked-up barista in Bend, Oregon” (Pg. 280). In “Anything Helps” our protagonist is Wayne, also referred to as Bit in the story, who is a homeless father with a drinking problem who lost his wife to drugs, and his son to CPS. Walters also seems to accompany this low point in the character’s lives with an action that almost leads …show more content…
For Katherine, it’s after the Famous Actor leaves and she’s all alone in her apartment crying on her bed, “The morning he left, I rubbed lotion on my arms so that I wouldn’t start scratching. I cried for a while, then I cried for crying. I went back to bed but I couldn’t fall back asleep” (Famous Actor, pg. 279). Wayne pities himself when he’s talking to Nate’s foster mom, he even unintentionally uses his self-pity to try and get Mrs. Molson to accept the book he bought for Nate. “This wasn’t what he meant to do, this self-pity. He wanted to talk like real people, but Bit feels himself fading… Finally, Bit smiles and rasps: Anything helps. She looks up at him with what must be pity although he can’t quite make it out” (Anything Helps, pgs. 10-11). Following the scenes of self-pity, we see a character in each story interact in some way with our protagonist that seemingly changes something in them. In “Famous Actor,” it’s when Katherine walks into her bathroom to find her medicine cabinet ajar and her medications and pills all cleaned out from the Famous Actor. “I got up to take a shower. That’s when I noticed my medicine cabinet door was slightly ajar. I opened it all the way. He had cleaned it out. The Zoloft I take for depression. The Ativan I take for anxiety. The Ambien I sometimes have to take to sleep…” (Pg. 279). …show more content…
For Katherine, it’s how she feels after she realizes the Famous Actor has stolen all her medications, “That morning as I stood there, staring at that empty medicine cabinet, I felt the strangest sense of pride in him. Warmth, Love, even. Well, look at you, I thought, you are normal- as normal as the most fucked-up barista in Bend, Oregon. Relax, [Famous Actor], wherever you are, you’re one of us.” (Famous Actor, pg. 280). This is a small step towards redemption for Katherine because throughout the novel she had been cold and unfeeling, even describing herself as feeling dead inside. “... I wasn’t sad, just more deadened, the way I get” (Famous Actor, pg. 270). So for Katherine feeling anything like warmth or love is a step in the direction of changing how emotionless and alone she is. For Wayne, it’s when he’s standing outside the bookstore thinking how much alcohol he could buy if he returned the book but he doesn’t return it and instead sits on his corner and reads the book. “Bit stands outside the bookstore holding a twenty-eight dollar book. Holding twenty-eight dollars. Holding three-fifths of vodka. Holding nine forty-ounce beers. Holding five bottles of fortified wine. Holding his boy… Bit eases against the light pole. You think you’re through
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He pointed out Mr. Cathey consistent bombardments of challenges and how he handle each situation. Every good point in his life such as becoming a father was met with a bad point in which he couldn’t go to school because he became a father. The author allowed us to feel happy for the situations that seemed any reasonable person would feel good about and upset about the unforeseen variables that tend to find Mr. Cathey. The author makes sure you feel the joy and pain of a young man who could have made it to a higher level but came up short because of his bad decision
Ironweed shares Francis Phelan’s daunting experience during events set during the Great Depression. Francis Phelan, a washed up baseball player that turns into an alcoholic after the accidental death of his younger son Gerald (XX). The consequences of these events result in Francis, fleeing home, working at a graveyard, reconciling with ghosts and witnessing the death of his two friends and lover before his eyes. Francis turned away from his family and all that loved him most. Depressed and desolated, while perfecting the art of forgetting his past struggles; guilt and alcohol are all that remained in his life.
Although both Wes’ faced multiple trials during their childhood, the determining factor in their future lives would be their education and the family structure who supported them. Mary did little to prevent her son from peddling drugs, and remained in a sense of denial for a long time. The other Wes had been long lost before his mother could intervene, or anyone in his family for that matter. Wes never received his high school diploma because he’d rather earn money off the streets than study in school. The other Wes felt as if he didn’t belong, his teachers did little in the sense of creating a structure classroom environment.
Thirty-three Cecils is a tragedy. This isn 't a spoiler: the novel says so right in its prologue. What is surprising is how uplifting this tragedy is. That 's because, as with all good stories, it 's not what happens that matters as much as how something happens. And Everett De Morier 's first novel isn 't just a good story, but a great, sad and deeply humane tale about loss and redemption.
Chris Langan is a bouncer at a bar, but he is one of the most intelligent people in the world. He has an IQ of 190 to 210. He has all that intellect, and he is working at a bar. There are various reasons why Chris is a bouncer and not something more meaningful. Such as, his parents failed him, society failed him, and he never had the support he needed.
What does family mean to you? If you 're like most people, then you most likely believe that we are products of our environment. This idea could not be better represented than the two young boys that this story is about. In “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” written by Wes Moore, two fatherless young boys that grow up with the same name and that live in the same neighborhood couldn 't have taken more different paths in life.
The Secret Lives of People The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, is an interesting story that connects human lives to bees. The story takes place in 1964 during the Civil Rights Movement and fourteen year-old Lily Owens leaves her abusive father and her home in Sylvan, South Carolina to go to Tiburon with hopes to find information on her mother. Throughout the story, Lily struggles with many internal conflicts and also meets several mother figures along the way.
Title In the short story “Grand Stand-In” by Kevin Wilson, there is a small but diverse cast of characters. An author of any story will purposefully make their characters fill a roll or trait needed to progress themes of the story. Generally, no authors will have a useless character. Their goal is always to provide something to propel the story, or to get major themes across.
In the Story of Jimmy Wayne’s “Walk to Beautiful”, Jimmy Wayne was a homeless kid who bounced in and out of every foster care system. Jimmy Wayne only 13, but very smart and intelligent at his age, he was tired of the abandonment of his own mother. Jimmy was hurt the most when his mother abandons him at a bus station, driving off into the night with her lover. Jimmy Wayne hurt and confused didn’t let it stop him from succeeding in life. An elderly couple Russell and Bea Costner, who owned a wood shop, took Jimmy Wayne under their wing and provided the opportunities for him to thrive.
It is very important that writers are able to send a message to their reader with their book. Authors best do this by bringing about empathy. In order to send this message, authors often develop strong characters that go through various problems and struggles. The book, To Kill a Mockingbird, shows this very well with its characters Scout Finch and Tom Robinson. This book helps the readers learn from the character’s reactions to their problems.
The greatest heroes in human history, whether real or fictional, are often portrayed as lone-wolves, people who neither require nor want help from others. But that is entirely untrue. Every president has a vice president, every superhero has a sidekick. And if even those people need help, then of course a normal man such as Nick Flynn does too. In Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, by Nick Flynn, Flynn details his and his absent father’s experiences, as they dance around each other for years before slowly developing a relationship.
“The Chilling truth is that his story could have been mine, the tragedy is that my story could have been his”. This was a quote from the author Wes Moore about the lives of both Wes Moores. The author Wes Moore was brought up with significantly more support than the other Wes Moore, the support that eventually will change his life for the better. The author Wes Moore is currently a free man with a prosperous life while the other Wes Moore is in Jessup Prison, serving a life sentence. The cause for this was the support each man had when they were being brought up in life.
Events that unfold in a person’s life occur because of uncontrollable circumstances around them as well as their actions. This balance of power of these two forces is never the same in different people. Thus, people fall into two general categories, those at the mercy of the uncontrollable and those who exert more control over their lives than outside forces do. Francis Aloysius Phelan, in William Kennedy’s “Ironweed,” falls into this second category. Francis is a former baseball player in his younger years who know finds himself, at 58, living as a bum in Albany, New York in 1938 during the Great Depression.
Maria Boyd’s novel “Will” clearly demonstrates and showcases multiple existing values, beliefs and ideologies. One such theme which we constantly see is that of depression. Throughout the novel, this theme is challenged and developed on. One such example Will, the protagonist, and his one sided conversations with his deceased father. This constant reminiscence of his father are only present in the latter half of the book when the theme of depression is much more prevalent.
Doesn’t everyone need to be rescued sometime in life? The narrator in “Sonny’s Blues” struggles with his own identity and finding himself. He has a sense of insecurity and conformity to escape his past and where he comes from. The narrator finds himself focusing on his brother’s mistakes in life when in reality; he is questioning his inner insecurities. The narrator believes he must rescue his brother but realizes first he must find rescue himself.