Although both the previous events did put David into an adverse position, the following experience changed David’s outlook on life for the better. Finally there was someone to tell David the true meaning of mankind, Uncle Axel. Uncle Axel tells him to be proud of his telepathic abilities, instead of praying to be what everyone else thinks is the true image. Uncle Axel also changes David's outlook on the true image of man, he explains to him how it's not one's physical features that define him, but what's in his mind.
A recurring theme in the character of David Bell is his inflated opinion of himself. Chapter Two begins with David stating, “I was an extremely handsome young man” (DeLillo 2.11). David continues to describe his appearance in an almost scientific manner that would appear to be simply a factual statement. When David equates his relationship with his mirror as therapeutic, however, we see how much he stakes his opinion of himself on the way he looks. “I was blue-eyed David Bell. Obviously my life depended on this fact” (DeLillo 2.11).
David's instructor was intimidating, rude, and somewhat abusive, but despite these things he used her behavior as a motivator to succeed. David was not about to give up and he: "refused to stand convicted on the teacher's charge of laziness," and due to that, he studied for 4 or more hours every night because he was determined to stand out (Sedaris, 1999). David clearly had a reaction to his teacher’s approach, which created a sense of urgency and a need to excel. His choice to persevere, despite her attitude, caused him to work hard, and he was once again able to use humor to get through by adding jokes to his responses to her quizzes. This whole experience shaped him into a better person and made him
David is an important character because he shows us the idea of acceptance. This is shown when David finds about Sophie’s sixth toe when she injured her ankle, and still wants to be her friend despite her being a deviation. In Wanuk - the place where David lives- deviations, like Sophie, are not accepted are human. David mentions multiple times that he knows being around Sophie is wrong but even though he knew he would be shunned for his actions, he remains Sophie’s friend anyway. Others are not as accepting as David, in fact, most people are quick to disown deviations or attempt to report or harm them. An example of this is when Allen sees Sophie’s six-toed footprint by the river then threatens to report what he saw which would mean Sophie’s capture, exile and/or death and possibly even her families too. This manner of thinking is shown again when the inspector says: “Although deviations may look like us in many ways, they can never really be human,” This, again, shows that deviations are frowned down upon by most of Wanuk. This conflict of acceptance reminds me of desegregation. People of colour would be treated less than human when they started peacefully protesting against their treatment and some were even killed. In fact, most of what is said reminds me of racism.
David questions himself about many of the choices that he made in Nic’s life. Some of them good and some of them I had a difficult time understanding. For instance was it really a good idea for his mother to move so far away from her child and then force him to travel back and forth between his home with his father to his mother’s house in Los Angeles, where he basically living his life on his on.. As a young child was this too much for Nic to handle let alone truly understand. Was it a good idea for David to take Nic to see Nirvana which was a rock band where the lead singer was addicted to heroin and later overdosed and died, whose death really affected Nic. Or was it a good thing for David to share with Nic at such a young age about his abuse of drugs and alcohol when he was in high school and college. Throughout this book David second guesses himself a lot. I feel that one of the most controversy things in the book was when they were visiting family and David and Nic went out for a walk and he was talking to his son about his drug use and Nic asks him if he wants to smoke some weed and David does. Now some of David’s actions can be considered confusing because maybe Nic was thinking that you did drugs when you were in high school and college and look you turned out alright or the fact that he thinks it is ok to do drugs because my dad actually smoked some weed with me.
The association of homosexuality with filth begins in childhood for David and most certainly in his relationship with his father. His identity confusion can be seen from early on as he mentions: “I was in full flight from him. I did not want him to know me. I did not want anyone to know me” (Baldwin 16). Indeed, David’s father install in him from the very beginning the notion of a white, heterosexual, masculine American male. He wants his son, whom he addresses as “Butch” to “grow up to be a man” (90) and not “a Sunday school teacher” (15). The “teacher” to which his father refers to can be understood as a threat to masculinity because “the teacher” is almost surely a woman and he wishes only a life of “butch” for his son. This notion surfaces
The novel begins with David standing at his window watching his reflection in the darkening window pane. There is a repetition of the words still and same. This is a self-reflection of himself as David is staring into his dark past where he is longing to move away from his lost identity. David is in denial with his manhood and he flees to France and leaves behind his life in America to attempt to leave the issues with his sexuality back home. At one point, David says that “perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition” (92). David realizes the internal, emotional state rather than just the physical
The description of their relationship draws on the language of navigation and discovery. She is seen as “undiscovered country” p.32 and David is a “battered vessel”. The narrator suggests there is no map for love
According to Feldman (2015) Urie Bronfenbrenner took more of a biological look at human development, using a system that gave five levels of environment which one is influenced by during the developmental period (The Biological Approach to Development, para 1). We will be looking at the mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem levels to see how David suffered or benefited because of these systems. As Feldman (2015) explains the mesosystem is where the connection between parent and child, or student and teacher influence each other and the relationship between the two people (The Biological Approach to Development, para 3). David encountered many situation where this system may have hurt and helped him. One example would be when he had a
David’s first impression of his teacher was: She’s mean and very sarcastic with her responses. At that point he knew he was in trouble. So, he
Another predominate lesson in the novel is, how change is possible, but quite difficult to become accustomed to. David proves this point in a conversation he shares with Uncle Axel. Since David was raised in a society where change was not an option, but instead it was mandatory for the people of Waknuk to move towards Gods true image and move away from all deviations. David and many others had a hard time going against their way of living. David admits that he is reluctant to change saying, “Moreover, I was reluctant to admit the flaw in the tidy, familiar orthodoxy I had been taught (pg 64). Similarly, Waknuk is against change and always resisted when change was an option. David reveals that change is quite difficult to become accustomed to when he states, “The place may have been called Waknuk then, anyways, Waknuk it had become; an orderly, law-abiding, God- respecting community of some hundred scattered holding, large and small” (pg 17). This shows that their town, Waknuk, had never become anything different through-out many years. Also Joseph Strorm was a very strict and rigid man who unfortunately was at a point where he and many others who lived in Waknuk were brain washed with the Bible, and Nicholson’s Repentances. Therefore change was a possible option but hard to go forward with it. In this novel it therefore teaches us how change is possible, but overall very hard to do.
Sophie allows for doubt to pierce its way into David’s life for the first time. At the start of the novel, when David first meets Sophie, he gets an insight into a deviant’s life. She has proven to be the first blow to efficiently impact David’s thoughts and make him question the authenticity of his society’s belief system. “It is hind-sight that enables me to fix that as the day when my first small doubts started to germinate.”
David’s interview was the one that I was anticipating the most, as I expected him to give the most unique answers due to his unique situation. Unfortunately, I had to interview him over the phone, but I was still able to get a good reading on his thoughts and expressions. Cognitively David is a very smart kid, he originally started school at the school in the US Army base in Austria, before ending up in Virginia, where he was been since he was in the fifth grade. He doesn’t think that his frequent relocations harmed his cognitive development, rather, they exposed him to a broader variety of fields to study and passions to pursue. He shines at math and loves playing games that showcase his calculation skills. He’s very confident in his intellectual
his father and dead mother. David's father has an idealized vision of his son as
This summer, and again in class, we read the articles The Cost of Survival, The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt, and Unbroken. Over the summer, I just read the texts on a literal level and the only text-marking that I did was I highlighted important parts and summarized each paragraph. I didn’t even begin to look into what else the author could possibly mean other than what he/she said on the page. Although, when we re-read and text-marked these articles, I did something very different. I looked into the deeper meaning of what the characters, word choice and plot that the author chose to use, means and what new ideas that they brought to the text by reading each paragraph carefully and questioning why the author did certain things that brought me to something that I had never found before. The difference between the two is that in the first read is that I didn’t fully understand the text. I just wrote summaries on the side of the piece. I didn’t have any idea of what any different meaning was than the obvious meaning. In my second read I found and understood deeper