Service and Readings Analysis
The short story, A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, the article, Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro and the poems, "Directions for Resisting the SAT", by Richard Hague and "First Practice", by Gary Gildner illustrate to their reader different ways of living life - either through fear, giving, individuality, or competitiveness. While neither piece of writing explains the best way to live life, they do all demonstrate different methods and the consequences or benefits of that method.
A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, tells the story of Mr. Bhowmick, an Indian immigrant living with his wife and daughter in the United States. Mr. Bhowmick is a devoted Hindu, much to the dismay of his wife and daughter, who have both accumulated to the modern ways in America better. Mukherjee makes it clear to the reader in the story the disunity in Mr. Bhowmick between staying faithful to the “old ways and beliefs” and the “American modern world.” Mukherjee especially magnifies Mr. Bhowmick’s conflict at the end of the novel through Mr. Bhowmick’s reaction to his daughter, Babli, being artificially inseminated. Mukherjee uses Mr. Bhowmick to illustrate to the readers the detrimental consequences of living life in fear and conflict inside oneself through the over exaggeration of Mr. Bhowmick’s reaction to his daughter’s pregnancy.
Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro, is an article about the owners of Dogwood Deli, Galen and Bridget Sampson. The Sampson’s created Dogwood Deli to give ex-convicts and ex-addicts the ability to learn culinary skills so they can get jobs in the restaurant workforce. Lewis, one of the employees at Dogwood Deli, describes the impact Galen and Bridget have had on his life, “’They made me see that what I think does matter. It makes a world of difference’”. This article makes it clear to the readers the benefits of giving those in need the opportunities to succeed in life. Unlike many people who have ignored Lewis for being an ex-drug addict, the Sampsons understand the potential and importance of each and every individual.
“Directions for Resisting the SAT”, by Richard Hague, expresses the idea of being a true individual – unmarked by societies expectations. The lines, “follow no direction/Listen to no one/Make your mark on everything”, especially illustrate this notion of true individuality and uniqueness.
“First Practice”, by Gary Gildner, is a poem about Clifford Hill’s football teams first practice. The poem is told from the point of view the Coach, an ex-soldier. The Coach’s military background causes him to act more like a drill sergeant than a coach. This sense of military influence is further shown through the line, “where we went in case of an attack”. This line causes there to be a sense of the players being prepared for war. Furthermore, this sense of military is seen in the competiveness that is placed on the players to be number one.
These four writings are all related in the way that they teach people how to live their lives and how react to certain events in life. Through my time volunteering at the Acts 4 Youth afterschool program, I have seen multiple ways in which the boys have reacted to certain events in their lives – either positively or negatively. Just like these writings are teacher their readers different ways to live their lives, the boys in the program also have multiple different influences telling them how to live their lives. Two main forces teaching them how to live their lives are the teachers at Acts 4 Youth and growing up in gang neighborhoods. Both the authors of these writings and the teachers at Acts 4 Youth want people to understand the opportunities and pontifical in the world to live a beneficial and happy life.