Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Memoir & Family Reader Response

This is my first assignment for the semester. It was surprisingly tough to write and answer the question asked instead of just writing what I wanted to say. I guess though I am used to having to write reading responses, I am not used to writing directed reading responses. I guess this makes some sense though. This is for an online English class and having everyone answer the same sort of questions in their response should make for some good discussion in the forum. I don't know. What I do know is that I need to start studying for my GRE soon if I hope to do well. Enjoy!

<3 Catherine *Riki

Creative Nonfiction Literature
Questions: Discuss how these writers use compassion, humor and language to depict the conflicts with their parents. Do they treat their mothers and fathers fairly? If so, how? Provide specific examples.

“Cherry” Mary Karr (Ch. 1)
This was a difficult read. Not because of language used, or the situation of a young woman leaving home, but because of the word, “you”. Not only did I find this an off putting way of reading a story, but I also found it to be a way to shift blame. Karr behaves in a manner where nothing is her fault. “You can’t admit to yourself that you first turned your back to him. So you invert the rejection - this distance, your scorn. They’re now his attitudes aimed at you” (10). She openly shifts blame for her feelings onto her father, her mother, and by use of the word “you,” onto the reader. I can’t honestly say that this is fair for her to do, but I can’t say it’s uncommon either.

“No Name Woman” Maxine Hong Kingston
I am emotionally exhausted and I want to know more. Kingston was raised by stories told by her mother and she listened. She listened and respected her mother’s telling of the story, but I don’t think that fairness is a part of that. Kingston listens for the missing parts. Is that fair, to listen for the parts her mother doesn’t say? Yes, she is respectful, but I saw nothing of fairness. I think she could be seen as being unfair, by trying to fill in those gaps left in the story. Yes, she is curious, but her mother likely left out parts for a reason. Kingston says that her mother does things with purpose, doesn’t that include not doing things? Is it fair for Kingston to dig for more information about her nameless aunt?

“The Girl Next Door” David Sedaris
This story broke my heart in a few ways and none of them were fair. The conflict Sedaris has with his mother is so infuriating, I wanted to jump in and shake her by the shoulders. However, Sedaris voice is clear and mostly positive when it comes to his mother. He loves her and respects her position as his mother, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t see her bad side. Brandi is right, and even his mom agrees, but she takes care of her son and he appreciates her help. I would say he treats her fairly. He lets her have her negative words and he gets to be cared for.

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