Despair Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

John Edgar Wideman’s “Our Time” is an indirect narration of his brother, Robby Wideman’s life, and a parallel journey of Wideman through those times. The story is in fractions; presented in the direct point of view by Wideman, his mother and Robby: while at the same time Wideman representing all of them from his point of view. A person is more like a mid-point of a triangle, where environment, family and personality strike at him perpendicularly, while each of them is parallel to a person’s action. Robby was the youngest of his family, the reason for him being the pampered and the unruly child. The family failed to teach Robby the difference between the black people and the white people. During the time, black people were void of any rights. Robby was more like a spring, he was compressed during his youth period and when he was let go, it bounced off over the boundaries.
Wideman, in the very beginning introduces us into a tense situation, while engulfed by his own emotional dilemma. Robby shared his pain and regrets of life for being in jail and the unethical things he had done, while Wideman feels deeply burdened by neglecting Robby and keeping things to himself. Wideman randomly uses sharp turns to change the context of his topics or the voice of the person speaking. His writing causes disruption in the flow of the story. The essay almost has a hint of a rough draft, an excerpt taken from a personal diary. Without introductions of the characters, the reader has to imagine a background for all the events.
Wideman’s life is a big puzzle and his brother Robby, his mother, Garth are the unsolved pieces. He is trying to fix things, things that he had just let slid under him. Wideman introduces Garth’s death, the beginning of despair in Robby’s life. Robby considered Garth as one of his own, someone who was always fail-safe for him. Garth was more like a bolt to Robby, one who would tighten up their group.
Garth’s death is very important in the story. It introduces us to Wideman’s mother who is important to him and Robby. We are made aware that she was compassionate and understanding, but as the time progressed she did not care much about the biased society nor she was concerned about the same. According to Wideman’s mother, Garth was repeatedly ‘sent back’ from the doctor’s and deprived of proper medical attention. It was very true, the social injustice ruled against the black people and their rights. Wideman provides his viewpoint, “Mom expects the worst now. She’s peeped their hole card. She understands they have a master plan that leaves little to accident, that most of the ugliest things happening to black people are not accidental but the predictable results of the working of the plan. What she learned about authority, about law and order didn’t make sense at first” (668). Over here, ‘their’ represents the biased government system, the white people, the people inclined towards the wealthy. The people who are arguably correct, ignoring the...

Find Another Essay On Despair

Serenity through despair Essay

1477 words - 6 pages one with the question in why Van Gogh chose to use the Wheatfield to express his dark emotions. If Van Gogh found healthiness and reassurance in the Wheatfield, why stain it despair? Was the painting of Wheatfield a cry/warning to his loved ones of what he was going through or was it Van Gogh showing complete sadness by finding darkness in something he found comforting? Van Gogh was found dead in a Wheatfield, this would make Wheatfield with Crows

21st Century: Time of Despair Essay

1248 words - 5 pages society, everything revolves around money, how much one has, and where they spend it. Citizens of this century do things that are not in favour of the majority, but rather for the rich, or to become rich themselves. The 21rst century is a time of great despair , due to the unhealthy food people consume, the weather conditions they encounter, and the unnecessary violence of extreme warfare they endure.The idea of eating, is glorified by th e media

The Raven as the Demon as Despair

2553 words - 10 pages The Raven as the Demon as Despair Soon after the death of a loved one come many visitors to the bereaved. Some arrive early, bearing gifts of food and speaking words of consolation and comfort. Others appear late in the day, unable to say anything, but still comforting in their very presence. But when the comforters have gone away and we sit through the lonely watches of the night, pondering our loss, the last visitor arrives. He comes

The Voice of Victorian “Longing like Despair”

2106 words - 8 pages Matthew Arnold’s Poetry: The Voice of Victorian “Longing like Despair” John Stuart Mill defined the Victorian Era as “an age of transition”, where “Mankind will not be led by their old maxims, nor by their old guides.” Other contemporary minds saw in this transition the main source of profound intellectual and moral confusion, “that may validly be described as a crisis of personal identity.” (R. A. Forsyth) The poet and Victorian literary

The State of Despair in American Beauty

1416 words - 6 pages The State of Despair in American Beauty In life, everyone must make choices. Choices give an individual the freedom to decide upon the path to which they will follow. Since it’s beginnings, the film making industry has focused on showing the direct relationship between the choices that people make and the resulting consequences they must face. In the movie American Beauty, the character of Lester Burnham must make many important choices that

The Ego and Despair in Ordinary People

1510 words - 6 pages The Ego and Despair in Ordinary People   Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital

Exaggeration of Despair in Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues

937 words - 4 pages Exaggeration of Despair in Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues Gloria Bird realizes that for generations Native Americans have had drinking problems, and she also realizes that it is difficult for “native writers to accurately represent our communities without exploiting them.”(G. Bird) However, Bird criticizes Alexie of embellishing or exaggerating the Native Americans’ despair. Alexie cannot ignore the alcohol situation when describing

Jean-Paul Sartre: On the Other Side of Despair

3067 words - 12 pages Jean-Paul Sartre: On the Other Side of Despair   In an age of modern pessimism and inauthentic, insignificant existence, Jean-Paul Sartre clearly stands out amongst the masses as a leading intellectual, a bastion of hope in the twentieth century. Confronting anguish and despair, absurdity and freedom, nihilism and transcendence, "Sartre totalized the twentieth century... in the sense that he was responsive with theories to each of the great

Despair and Fear during the Battle of Britain

1696 words - 7 pages easier to cope with, the Blackout was instant- two sirens and then pitch black -and disorienting. This event lowered people’s spirit and only killed people for the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe’s bombings on Coventry not only reveals the poor morale of this city, but also exemplifies how other cities felt when they were attacked. The citizens felt “the futility of it all”, a sure sign of failing morale (Norman Longmate, 158). This despair did not reach

Despair in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

779 words - 3 pages Despair in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Linda Brent, Ms. Jacobs' pseudonym while writing "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," became so entrenched in hatred of slaveholders and slavery that she lost sight of the possible good actions of slaveholders. When she "resolved never to be conquered" (p.17), she could no longer see any positive motivations or overtures made by slaveholders. Specifically, she could not see the good

Your Beauty, My Despair in "London" by William Blake

683 words - 3 pages that only a tyrant, a beast, an animal, or a brut be the only soul that can look at poverty or pain and see the beauty in it's rapture? Yes. As this pattern of a deterializing society continues I can only feel sadness and remorse for a society lost to its own greed and corruption. But what I do take from Keats passage is the urge to turn to my brother or sister in any moment of despair, no matter how life is treating them and say "it will be all right". Maybe this is the true meaning of Keats's passage.

Similar Essays

Ignorance Of Despair Essay

1350 words - 6 pages different level. It is the “relation relating to itself” (Keirkegaard 43). The human cannot be said to be any one of the characteristics listed above. It is the synthesis of all these aspects. We are each our own unique interplay and the self is the relation of this unique interplay to itself. However, we can never be our full self in the eyes of God, which is one cause of the inescapable human experience of despair. Despair is an inherent aspect of

The Shell Of Despair Essay

1659 words - 7 pages Essay #1 The Shell of Despair When I was an adolescent, perhaps four or five years of age, I came face to face with despair. At the time, I did not know this would be the closest encounter I would have with it, but I did know I was meeting it. I had a friend from preschool who was my best friend. She lived in my neighborhood and we would always play together. Then one day she called me and I was expecting a happy voice if I anted to come over

Dealing With Despair Essay

1118 words - 5 pages What gives a life meaning? Some might say that family, friends, religious values, or even money give meaning to their life, but what about the people who do not have any of these things? In Earnest Hemingway’s short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” two characters are portrayed as being in despair. These older gentlemen have explicit reasons for their grief however. Hemingway presents the central theme of despair throughout the story by the

Imagery In Despair Essay

907 words - 4 pages Wyatt's My Galley Charged with Forgetfulness relies heavily on metaphor and imagery. Through intimation of such literary devices, as well as language and tone, Wyatts suggests, through the metaphor of the galley's course, that life is meant to run an intentioned course with purpose. Through the course of the poem unfolds a strong sense of despair in the realization that such purpose is lost; it is not there. The poem is laden with tones of