Friday, January 28, 2011

Read between the lines

Tim is really pushing me to read between the lines. "He (Norman Bowker) did not freeze up or lose the Silver Star for valor. That part of the story is my own" (154). What! I was lied to again? Wow! Now I have to go back and read the whole chapter again! But that does not help me at all. Rereading the chapter does not tell the story because now I know a truth that alters the whole story and does not tell me the truth that Tim wanted to tell me.

Tim is telling two stories within the story he tells in the chapter titled "Speaking of Courage". He is telling the story of how Norman Bowker struggled to adjust after coming home from the war and at the same time he tells us of the struggle he has with feelings of remorse at losing a friend and how he feels he could have saved him but failed.

Two stories at the same time told by one person as if it was one story. Why did he write it this way? What was he trying to say? I think there is another story within these two stories. The story is that all the war stories can be understood by any one soldier. So in a sense both separate stories can be told by any one soldier because they all understand the story. They all relate to adjusting to coming home, some more than others, and they all have regrets that they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

On a side note, I found myself wondering if Norman's father was riding with him even though Norman said he wasn't. I think because I expect to be lied to at times I look for lies within the stories and the meaning behind those lies. For example I felt that Norman's father was in the car even though Norman said he was not because Tim (the writer or narrarater) wanted us to see that Norman felt alone even if his father was in the car. Later on I dismised this because of some later statements made that Norman had a habit of driving around alone for long periods of time.

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