Susan Griffin's A Chorus Of Stones

1743 words - 7 pages

Through war and gender, Susan Griffin interplays between private tribulation and public tragedy. The excerpt, ‘Our Secret’, from her book,‘A Chorus of Stones’, helps to set information about the first atomic bombs. Griffin alternates between the information of the first atomic bombs and the struggles in the personal lives of regular people and major figures, such as, Heinrich Himmler and her own family. While reading ‘Our Secret’, the lessons of reading, writing, and thinking are iterated throughout the work. The structure and features of her work are foreign to many such as myself, because the use of this method has not been seen before. When many read ‘Our Secret’, it is the first time that they are encountering this type of writing method. It keeps the readers interested in what was being read the entire time. The alternations between the italicized sections and her story require the re-reading of the two portions allowing for better comprehension. To better understand her method of writing looking at the connections within the text is vitally important. Without these connections, between such things as the first atomic bombs, DNA/biology, Heinrich Himmler’s life, and many other topics, the reading may make no sense at all to the readers. It would seem to the readers, through their first time of reading it, that it just jumps from one topic to the next and that may begin to confuse the reader. The reader may have seen this type of method in another text before, and they would be able to understand a lot more than the readers who haven’t seen this type of writing method used before. Students gain a deeper understanding of the text when they recognize connections. These connections connect the reader to the characters being discussed, the outside world, the story, and/or similar experiences. Comprehension skills are then enhanced, because the reader is more easily able to connect to the text and make comparisons between different topics that are brought up.
As Griffin says, “the telling and hearing of a story is not a simple act.” (Griffin 298). Through her work we can see that that is true. Re-reading the two portions allowed the gathering of new information about the text which may have been noticed in the first instance. By adopting this method of writing in schools, students will have acquired a more effective, refined method of reading, writing, and thinking---critical thinking. Writing through this method, like Susan Griffin's, demonstrates to the student how to use unseemly comparison drawing paradoxical connections in their work. Although possibly true, they may be contradictory statements. Using her method of writing, the alternations between the main story you are trying to tell and the sections that are not easily related to the text (like Griffin’s italicized sections), may at times be vexing. If distinctions are made early on and terms are defined and clarified there really is little at stake in adopting Griffin’s method in the...

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