Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Exploration 5: Elianna Ponte

1. The story that has meant the most to me so far in reading The Things They Carried probably has to be Church. I had gone to Catholic school my whole life up until I started going to OSUM, and I remember most people thinking that because I went to Catholic school, I didn't say things like "Oh my God!", and I remember being asked various times if the reason my parents put me into Catholic schools was so I could some day grow up to be a nun. I kind of laughed these questions off, thinking that people were crazy for thinking that, but the truth is, as I got older, I realized what being a true Catholic really meant. It didn't necessarily mean agreeing to everything the Catholic Church said, but rather treating people fairly, and "just being nice to people, that's all. Being decent", as Dobbins said on page 115. Although Church is a short chapter, I think it has meant the most to me so far just because it related the most to my life in terms of my religion.

2. I think the character I connect with the most is Tim O'Brien. Although I've never been in a war, I think that Tim has taken us through a lot of moments in his life throughout this book that I've been able to relate to. For one, towards the beginning of the book, Tim tells about his fear of being known as a coward for not going to war, but then he says that he's a coward because he fell into the pressure of everyone encouraging him to go to war, so he did. I think that sometimes I worry too much about what others think, and rather than stick to my own opinions and ideas, I end up really taking into account what others say, which isn't always necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to be a people-pleaser, and sometimes I end up putting myself last in order to make others happy.

3. Something taken from my active reading is probably the amount of description in the chapter of The Man I Killed. Tim O'Brien really goes into detail about how he killed the man, and he has a lot of guilt afterwards. The first paragraph of the chapter really intrigued me, and as I kept reading I felt sorry not only for the man Tim killed, but also for Tim himself because it almost felt as if grief had completely overtaken him.

4. The passage that I was really struck with, again, is the passage I included in the first answer to the first question; "The thing is, I believed in God and all that, but it wasn't the religious part that interested me. Just being nice to people, that's all. Being decent" (Pg. 115). It really impacted me because it reminded me of growing up in a Catholic school setting. Throughout my 18 years of Catholic schooling, I never really understood what it was to be Catholic, and as I came to the end of my senior year, I realized that I'm not technically a "devout" Catholic because I don't go to church every Sunday, and I don't pray every night before I go to bed, but I am always trying to help others and I'm always trying to just be nice. I usually always have a smile on my face, and I know how much of a difference it made in my day when someone would just smile at me or say hi to me because I felt like I was important enough for that person to want to make me feel better that day. I always try to do the same for others, and again, I just try to be nice!

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