Wednesday, February 11, 2009

F Block: Students' Choice Short Essays

Post your edited and proofread essays here.


Anonymous said...

Meagan E. 2/12/09Mr. Kefor Period F What is the What Essay

Anywhere in the world, one can find an effect from war. And, there are many causes for war, from race and religion to government and power. In Africa, there is a scar from war that is still growing today. The genocide in Sudan has caused incredulous and horrible things for people. Through the hands of Dave Eggers, Valentino Achak Deng tells his story of the war in the novel What is the What. And in
this story of violence and oppression in Sudan, Valentino creates the emotions of sympathy and heartache, which, in the end, becomes more valuable than any historical account.

In the process of telling his story, Valentino brings out the feeling of sympathy in the reader. Valentino tells of much pain and suffering that he and his people endure in Sudan. In one part, he tells of running from soldiers with two other boys. And along the way, a woman calls for them, but she shoots the other two boys when they near her. It makes the reader ask ‘why would a woman, let alone anyone in general, trick young boys so they could shoot them’? And the reader has a felling of sympathy for Valentino because he was so young and he had to watch his friends die in such a way. And then, he had to continue to run alone. Another account would be when two boys were snatched by a lion. And, not only did Valentino watch and hear this happen, but so did many other boys, with whom Valentino was traveling with. With this said, the reader can only imagine the flow of emotions through those boys bodies. And, the thoughts that lurk in the back of their minds today and that will be there for the rest of their lives.

Through this feeling of sympathy, heartache can emerge. These people lost everything they had. The boys walked thousands of miles with nothing but the clothes on their backs; no food, water, safety and protection from danger of any kind. Children not only lost their families, but they watched their families be taken and killed. Terrible, terrible things happened to these people in Sudan. It is almost worse to hear than to hear of the Holocaust. Why would, or how could, anyone have the capacity to cause such horrible pain and suffering? How could anyone not feel any heartache from this story? For us, as human beings, this should almost be disgusting to hear of. And, this is probably only half of what happened. Just like every war, there is always hidden information as to what happened that we never find out. And to read this, it hurts.

To read a personal story will always be more valuable than any historical account on anything. In a historical account, the information given are facts and are like stone; there is no feeling. It just gives the reader the what, why, where, when, and how of the event. And, that is it. But, in a personal story on an event goes deeper into it. It is seen through the eyes of a person. The reader is able to see what really happened and what things were like for them, themselves, not people in general. And, a personal account is overflowing with feeling and emotions. And with that, the reader is able to reach the narrator as if they were with them and as if they are talking to them in person. In this story, the reader is able to see the story form its simplest form: a little child. And that in itself gives way more meaning than anything. The reader can appreciate and feel what is happening.

When telling his story, Valentino Achak Deng permeates the emotions of sympathy and heartache for the reader. And the reader is able to the value within that. What occurred to his people and many others in Sudan is just unbelievable. And now, this genocide has spread to much of Africa. There will always be war in the world. But the justification as to why we have war may never be known to the human race.

Anonymous said...

Feeling Over Fact
Brianne E.

People today depend on the emotions of others to relate or understand where they are coming from. Suppose you as the reader, have been through a horrific and traumatic situation. Would you prefer to talk to someone who just empathizes with you? Or someone who has a past experience that is similar to your condition? Valentino, a Sudanese man, who suffered war and betrayal but somehow survived the jaws of genocide. We as humans can relate to a personal experience other than factual information. It’s in our nature to feel love and compassion for those suffering through war.
War is a familiar thought in today’s day in age. If you, as the reader, have lost someone near and dear to you, then your story is easily relatable to those in Iraq with the war in their back yards. Not in the same sense but in the way of loosing the ones you love. War is war. No matter who you are, both sides always suffer. Books give ruthless information. When talking to another human you can hear the emotion in there voice which makes these stories easier to listen to. Emotion is what people depend on to make them happy or sad; facts are blunt, boring, and sometimes morose.
When you talk to a person, the first thing you notice is their voice and how they present themselves. You may watch their body language or maybe their eyes. Eyes can tell a lot about a person, eyes can either make or break a story. If their eyes are timid and shy and unemotional, you have the want to not listen and think to yourself of all the reasons why they aren’t showing emotion. When eyes are heartfelt and tender you feel the compassion in the words and begin to understand where this person is coming from. In this case Valentino is very easy to understand and feel his expression even though to can’t see it. Sometimes he says, “No doubt if you have heard of the Lost Boys of Sudan, you have heard of the lions. For a long while, the stories of our encounters with lion helped garner sympathy from our sponsors and our adopted country in general.
Books are good in some ways; they can give you details about things that maybe the person didn’t know. Books give you ruthless ideas of what people thought but when learning about things it is easier to get a grasp on the whole war and situation.
The most important thing of why people prefer personal of book. Personal stories when hearing one you know that its real and everything they are telling you they saw with their own eyes. Books give the overview of everything that happened in that period of time.

Anonymous said...

Since the dawn of time mankind has been plagued by war. Every country, every person has at some time been affected by war. Sudan, the largest country in Africa has been engaged in a destructive civil war for many years. The murder of thousands of innocent civilians has been the result of this war. What is the What is a firsthand account of the journey of Valentino Achak Deng, a real boy who escaped this hell and found a safe haven in America. Valentino’s story is more valuable than any historical text. This story brings in the element of real life emotion something no History book could convey.
What is the What brings in elements that no historical text could deliver. Stories like Valentino’s add a deeper meaning to history. Real life accounts add feelings of emotion and empathy which makes it easier for readers to understand the historical events. This deeper understanding lets the reader remember these events more easily. These emotions allow the reader to relate to the characters. Firsthand accounts bring in events that no History book would dare to include, stories of death and salvation. Events that are especially important in books of war like What is the What. All these factors allow some firsthand accounts to be much more valuable than historical texts.
The emotions from accounts like What is the What make them more valuable than historical texts. People remember and understand History more easily with these accounts. Firsthand account are no substitute for a historical text when learning but firsthand accounts allow people to relate to the characters something invaluable when learning about History.
brian bostwick