Friday, March 1, 2019
Reaction Paper-Non-Fiction Essay
Having traveled a great deal since birth, partly due to my acquire cosmos in the Air Force and the rest is blamed on or so gipsy spirit residing deep within, very much of Gretel Ehrlichs story, About Men resonated with me. I understood her l starliness for places in one case visited, and the pack to find solace in the directly places as she did while on the New York Sub personal manner seek for posters of cow mans. W lid I am aching to see is horseflesh, a gleam of spur, a line of distant mountains, brimming creeks, and a re psycheer of the ranchers and rodeo riders Ive ridden with for the last eight years (Ehrlich, 1985). In contrast, for me person every last(predicate)y, is Joan Didions memoire of a char that has a lot of time at engraftation and is clearly depressing with how she must live out her days. Home can mean legion(predicate) things to people, after all is it a unique and subjective catch that all we can appreciate-good or bad. In these stories I plead each charr seems to define family unit as an entirely different existence, though they be both(prenominal) l singlely, d faultinging through life in the places they must now call family.Even though Greta was not born on a ranch, she matte a connection to the ranch life so pixilatedly that she decided to live among them for eight years. Greta felt a kinship to the cowboys she lived with so deeply that writing close them became more(prenominal) than a hobby or pastime. She felt the need to set the world and union right on the stereotypes and bent visions of those who roamed the Western sky. Greta reminds me of a big babe standing up to bullies who are bringing down her best friends. When she says, much(prenominal) ideas provoke perverted manliness into a self-absorbed race for brazen-faced thrills (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 83) it is obvious to me she is offended greatly by societies depiction of the Cowboy and feels the need to defend the disesteemed character of him. Joan Di dion writes, And the nameless anxiety colored the emotional charges among me and the place that I came from (Didion, 1967).Obviously there is great deal of scrap for Joan as she tries to give her miss a home that she once had with her sustains and eer struggles with her desire to be at her parents home where she had felt happy and content. Living with her husband and daughter she seems lost, and homesick, even though she is much older. In Joans story we, the reader, must at times read between the lines, as Joan is not entirely clear on some points. Like when she says she is tired of her parents insensate house and bodyy lifestyle. Also, I felt that Joan was dealing with an identity complex, not really cheatledgeable how to be in her own home, especially when she felt such a longing to be back with her parents. Her husband even felt this rift and Joan writes about it stating, My husband likes my family only is un sluttish in their house, because once there I fall into thei r ways, which are difficult, oblique, deliberately inarticulate, not my husbands ways (Didion, 1967).The sad truth is that Joan feels trapped in her parents home though she has long since moved from there on to her own home. She muses, That I am trapped in this particular irrelevancy is never more spare to me than when I am home (Didion, 1967). Joan then reflects on what kind of home her baby will receive from her, and what kind of mother will she be. I see, as parents, we can all relate to these feelings of adequacy and wonder which is at least one area I feel connected to Joan and her story. Joan states sort of boldly, Paralyzed by the neurotic lassitude engendered by meeting ones past at every turn, around every corner, at bottom every cupboard I go aimlessly from elbow room to room (Didion, 1967). Never alluding to a home full of abuse, trauma or otherwise it seems that Joan is really struggling with her electric razorhood, that has naturally extended into her adulthood a nd somehow has dumbfound lost in translation.I cant help only wonder why so much negativity surrounds her description of home- paralyzed, aimlessly, neurotic- those are very powerful words Joan uses to describe a home she misses and I feel confused. Gretel lives absent from the ranch but longs to return, even attempting end-to-end her day to find solace, When I am in New York but feeling lonely for Wyoming I look for the Marlboro ads in the subway (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 82). sooner than missing a small family unit as Joan does her mother and father, Gretel has encompassed a lifestyle and called it home. She creates a stoic image of men who feature physical prowess, and a tireless heart. Writing, For the most part his work is do on horseback and in a lifetime he sees and comes to know more animals than people (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 83).She describes the Cowboy as having a toughness and inner fragility which contradicts what society has depicted of the American Cowboy as being tough as nails, and lacking emotion. In comparison, home to Joan was hallways, rooms, doors and dust that accumulated on century old furniture, while home to Gretel was a western sky, herd of cattle, men with hearts of gold and the woman who love them. Gretel was more involved with the plight of the Cowboy, and Joan was consumed with her place in this world away from her parents home. It seems that Gretel is creating her own vision of the Cowboy on her terms, by what she witnessed on one ranch in Wyoming. Claiming it is the geographical vastness and social isolation that makes the Cowboy hard to hold and even harder to love going so farthest as to state, They lack the vocabulary to express the complexity of what they feel (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 84). perchance Gretel felt the need to be the voice for the American Cowboy, and a strong sensitive one at that. Is it possible that she created the Cowboy in her mind the way she wanted them to be, even admitting in her story that they were standoffis h and noble (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 84) while claiming they are impulsive, passionate and intuitive.It seems contradictory, perhaps she is still learning too. And does Joan really miss her parents and their dusty old house or is she merely unsated with her new marriage and new home? Is it perhaps easier to go rearward than forward, in an effort to free yourself from any responsibility? When Joan writes, There is zip like seeing a thing you know was meaningful to you once and is now empty and wondering (Didion, 1967)- what was all that for? I cant help but wonder.Here she is, a woman with a child of her own grasping for emotions of the past rather than working on build new memories with her new family. That was most frustrating for me, but possibly because I did not gravel a home growing up and I married early, glad to get away from the daily strife my parents created on a regular basis. It seemed absurd to me to constantly go back to those days and reflect, let alone long for them. Honestly, I dont believe there was a week that passed my mother wasnt wasted and my father wasnt beating her up. Because of these moments in time I have intentional to be thankful for the beautiful life I have meet myself in, determined to break every cycle of abuse, neglect and addiction.Maybe Joan unavoidable a reason to go on, to find herself in the new. And maybe Gretel found a bit of herself in the ranches of the west- The old and the new, the real and the perceived it is all relative I suppose. These selections are Non-Fiction due to the fact that the women wrote firsthand accounts of their experiences. Gretel wrote about the football-field-sized lambing sheds and recited a bit of history when she said, many of the men who came to the West were Southerners-men looking at for work and a new life after the Civil state of war (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 84). Joans visit home is made palpable as she recites her experience in the present tense. It is easy for me to use my imagination as each writer sets the scene Gretel in the Wild West and Joan in the eastmost and the California West. I can envision myself on a horse, horseback riding the range, pulling calves and holding baby lambs as Gretels story winds its way across the wide open plains.Similarly, I am planted into Joans childhood home walking the halls, smelling the dank air, and looking inner cupboards that hold antique plates and bowls. The authors use of imagery is sensational, and makes for an easy and enjoyable read. I can envision Joans sense of astonishment when upon describing her home of childhood from her now home, she says, It is a vital although troublesome mark (Didion, 1967, p. 164). So, in attempting to explain the distinction between the homes, she creates a troublesome tone.She takes me to her parents home quite easily as she goes about describing the accommodate dessert plates and assay scales (Didion, 1967, .p. 164). Because my life did not hold the corresponding truths as Joans I find it hard to relate to her longing for home. entirely I do relate when she states the importance of creating a home for her daughter who is having a birthday, and the reason she had come home at all. She writes, She is an open and swear child, unprepared for and unaccustomed to the ambushes of family life, and perhaps it is just as well that I can offer her little of that life. I would like to give her more (Didion, 1967, p. 167). How many times have I said this very same thing about my own children?In conclusion, I found both of these stories to be very intriguing and enjoyable to read. Both of these women are manifestly very passionate about their relationships in life and both have a need to express, and to protect those who reside there. Because I am from the state of Wyoming Gretels story deeply resonated with me, as I too have fallen in love with the Old West and its beautiful soil and the Cowboy Code. And often when feeling lonely for my Wyoming, while residing in a s mall beach town in Maryland, I too see the landscape for a glimpse of Western wonder in a billboard, or a sign, perhaps in the smile of a unknown region as I secretly hope for a tip of his hat and a howdy maam. As Gretel would say, their strength is also a softness, their toughness, a rare thinness (Ehrlich, 1985, p. 85). And I would say from experience, a delicacy indeed.ReferencesDidion, J. (1967)., Slouching towards bethlehem. New York, NY Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Ehrlich, G. (1985)., The solace of open spaces., New York, NY Viking Penguin, Inc.