Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Exploration 6: Kiaya Royster

The story that has meant the most to me so far is Speaking of Courage, because its after the war he is home now and there is nothing he has to wake up and do every morning. There is no place to be, no one to look after, nothing to carry. I like it so much because it resembles and end as well as a new start for him, he given so much of his time to the war and this chapter really shows the part that most people don't think about, like what comes after? What happens when these veterans come home. In the book we read about him driving the same 7-mile loop over and over again, and how it gave him a safe feeling. When soldiers come home, I think that is all the search for the feeling of being safe again after being in harms way for so long. I also think this story shows how some veterans, especially when faced with the chance to talk about their experience can't even bring themselves to do, yet they want to feel like people care and the want their stories to be heard and they chose actions that make it seem the opposite but thats what hurts them even more in side, the bottling of all the horrible things that they've seen.

At this point in the book my strongest connection lies with Norman Bowker, because throughout this book not only does he go to Vietnam and risk his life everyday that he is there, when most people in the USA won't ever serve in the military, but he struggles with problems that hit home as well, like trying to make your parents proud and dealing with disappointment when you can't reach goals that you've set for yourself.

This book is made up of a lot of dialogue, and the authors way of not just filling every page with sentence after sentence to keep the readers turning the page. The way the dialogue is used in the book allows the readers to turn the characters into people that they can get really personal with and pull out strong emotional responses from them. At the start of the book when Jimmy Cross stops in to visit, it gives readers an emotional response when you read the dialogue back and forth and learn that he never made it with Martha and after all this time he stills cares to even hope theres a chance. Also the author does very well at making you think there is going to be an answer to a lingering question if you just keep reading, when he never plans on doing so, like when Jimmy asks "And do me a favor. Don't mention anything about-." It leaves reading wondering what that something could be and makes them want to keep turning pages which I like.

A passage that struck me was the beginning section of The Ghost Soldiers, where he is describing how it feels to be shot and comparing the first time to the second. The way he describes how Rat kept coming back to check on him into comparison to it taking Bobby 10 minutes to work up the nerve to crawl over to him. Theres almost a dark humor when he describes Rat calming him down by saying it's only a side wound and wouldn't be a problem unless he was pregnant. "Don't worry about the baby." Rat says before running off to go fight again, versus him almost going into shock after getting shot in the butt and remembering Bobby's pale face and bug eyes. This means something to me because I pick when I may have to go to combat I hope if I ever end up hurt I get a Rat and not a Bobby.


  1. I also agree with the part when you said veterans sometimes just can't bring themselves to talk about the stories. It's so sad how wars have such a negative effect on veterans. They took the step to go to war and they don't come back the same person they were before they left. The rest of their lives are different because they'll never forget what they went through.

  2. The struggle of "trying to make your parents proud" is something I can really relate to as well. By putting pressure on their kids, parents can really damage the relationship between them and their children. Norman Bowker is a great example. He can't even talk to his own father about the war, because he's worried about his father's opinion of him.


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