Sunday, February 5, 2017

Journal 4 by Matt

Matt Hall
Professor Mike Lohre
English 1109.01
30 January 2017
            Throughout these two books this semester I have tried to read activity, and understand the book at the same time. I find myself having trouble trying to comprehend the book while reading actively. I often have to go back and reread passages, because I will get more focused on what I am writing down, then what is actually going on in the book. In both books there are strengths and weaknesses. In Cisneros, I think the book is too jumbled up and random to get a true feel to what the book as a whole is about. I also feel that the chapters can be too short. As soon as you start to get a feel about what the chapters about, it ends. I don’t know if this is a weakness, but I consider it to be for me. In Beah I feel that the book jumps around in time too much. I often get confused when they go back in time and show flashbacks. Both these books have a lot of strengths. In Cisneros, the chapters are short, and simple. This really allows the reading to pick up more and understand the language more. In Beah, there is always something going on. This book is action packed and really makes the reader feel the need to read more. Out of these two books, I prefer A Long Way Gone over The House On Mango Street. I am a person who loves a book with a lot of action.  A Long Way gone is easily my favorite.
            Some of the survival skills these kids have to pick up is amazing. In this last chapter You really see the emotional, and physical toll these kids are put under. One of the survival skills the boys had to learn was to be mentally strong. Seeing all this death in the war really hardened these kids minds up. It’s almost as if they don’t want to get too attached to anyone, so if anything happens to that person, they wouldn’t get hurt as bad. Beah shoes this when he says “Everyone else was crying, but I couldn’t cry. I felt dizzy and my eyes watered (beah 85). This just shows how much the war changes these kids. Not allowing death to bother you is a survival skill to these boys and helps to allow them to stay safe in the war.


  1. I agree with you on your last paragraph. The war has ruined their innocence. Most adults wouldn't be able to handle this situation and here they are surviving it! They will be forever changed physically and mentally!

  2. I can agree with you and understand where you are coming from on all of this. It really is hard to try and comprehend these books, honestly its hard for me to get it to them as well, I use a audiobook to read to me that way as I listen I can kind of draw a story out in my head as it goes to understand it more and try and picture myself in Beah's shoes. And I couldn't imagine what those boys have went threw watching one of their friends to die in front of them, much less they way the burial was back then to how it is now. They couldn't have him buried back at his home village, he had to be buried where they last was do to the war.

  3. I like the way you put how I has to make the kids mentally strong. like at this time a a kids life they should be playing and enjoying childhood, but that has been stripped for Beah and he has to switch his way of thinking to a more survival mode.


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