Positiva And Negative Consequences: Whirligig By Paul Fleischman

1593 words - 6 pages

Brent, a suicidal killer, is on the journey of his life to pay tribute to the victim's family. In Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, Brent Bishop is an adolescent who has traveled and moved many times, even so much that he knows the way to “fit in” all down to the choice of which ear the earring is placed. But when a socially important party goes astray, he becomes a killer of teenage Lea Zimora of Chicago. He is faced with multiple consequences when he accepts a journey to pay tribute to Lea and her family by making whirligigs and placing them at the four corners of the USA. Brent gains many new experiences and it opens his eyes up to multiple different things, however the reader is faced with a large, prominent question: How has the journey affected Brent’s past, present, and future life? Because of Brent’s suicidal actions, he has been faced with positive consequences, negative consequences, and consequences that severely change his life forever.

Brent has had many negative consequences from his suicidal actions. Brent’s journey of accepting his past and paying tribute to Lea’s spirit have forced him to leave everything behind. He was forced to do this and must leave his family and friends behind in order to move forward with his life. The novel also mentions that Brent is “free of his own family ”(46) implying that he is sad that he must leave his family behind in order to complete the task. Consequently, for many people this would be a severely negative result to his journey. Even so, during Brent’s journey, he chooses to not visit his family. “He changed buses again in Boston, where he had an aunt and uncle and cousins, none of whom he desired to see. They were his past.” (116). Brent does not want to see any of his relatives simply because they were his past and he is a new person who does not want to go back to his old habits. He also does not want to tell them about his past. He does not want them to know that he killed Lea or that he is on this mission to pay amends to Lea’s family. Leading to the next negative consequence, is that Brent is still on a journey from what he did in the first place. He is still reminded of the crash and Lea. Brent thought about Lea multiple times such as when he was at the hostel and sat on the porch playing his harmonica thinking about her (75), or the time when he was studying the Whirligig book and imagining Lea and Mrs. Zamora looking at him (50). Lastly, to go on this journey in the first place, he was suicidal and killed Lea. Brent’s journey was not a “fresh start” or “clean slate,” but a life changing repercussion from his previous actions. Brent’s actions have had many negative consequences that were beneficial to his journey and the rest of his life after his crash.

However, this journey has also had many positive consequences that have helped to shape Brent into a stronger, better person. Brent has been given the chance to start over, and he has taken this to his advantage. He has left...

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