John Widemen Our Time Eassy Essay

1597 Words Feb 22nd, 2012 7 Pages
English 110
Paper 1, Rough Draft
Response to John Wideman “Our Time”
John Wideman’s “Our Time” portrays a different side of a convicted felon that is often never seen. His brother Robbie was sentenced to life in prison after being involved in a murder and robbery. Writing a book about his brother was something he had never done before and shows a very interesting approach to getting the reader’s attention. Due to the fact that he had never written a book like this before Wideman had to overcome some obstacles he had never faced before. As Wideman began writing the book he realizes that he has a hard time grasping the fact that he is a successful novelist and his brother a felon. Throughout the passage Wideman speaks to the reader
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As they continue talking, John is somewhat shocked as to what Robby is saying. He explains how as a kid he escaped the stereotypes and the temptation of the gangs and the violence that surrounded him as he grew up. He thought that because Robby was hanging around the wrong crew that his personality was tainted in a way by thinking that he was a “cool cat” that didn’t follow the rules and sold drugs. But if you go back and read the opening of the passage john shows the audience that his brother deep down inside is a good person. Now that being said the story john gave us in the beginning of his draft was not Robby’s true words which shows the reader his first problem. Wideman states “the hardest habit to break, since it was the habit of a lifetime, would be listening to myself listen to him. That habit would destroy any chance of seeing my brother on his terms; and seeing him in his terms, learning his terms, seemed the whole point of his story.”(672). after reading the beginning again, I then realized that the way the story of Garths death was described couldn’t have been the voice of Robby. There is no exact explanation as to why Wideman interrupts the narrative to talk about his writing problems. Or why he started it with Garths death. I think he includes this to catch the reader’s attention rather than writing a traditional beginning, middle, and end. Writing the narrative with no specific beginning and stating the problems he has writing it makes

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