22 October 2018
What The People In America Left Behind
Do you ever wonder what wearing a mask feels like? Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another and listening with your ears to feel what the person is feeling in their hearts. Empathy is important in real life because it helps you to feel and to be able to sympathize with others. It would be an awful world if there was no empathy in this world sadly. I know what it feels like to wear a mask because in my short lifetime I have worn 2 different masks. The first was when I was a kid living with my parents, and one when I was in third grade and struggled to read. The mask I wore with my parents was me pretending I had a good life when it was bad. the second mask I wore was me pretending like I understood the work we would be doing in class and I didn't. In the stories, of Curtis Akins “Hiding the Truth” by Dan Rather, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst and “What She Left Behind” by Tracey Bilen, provides an experience in empathy through the characters Curtis Akins, the brother and Doddle, and Sarah.
First and foremost, I can relate to Curtis Atkins in “American Dream” because we both wore a mask. His mask was not being able to read and write and struggled in school. The mask I wore was something like Curtis’s. The truth was, I struggled to read also just like him. In third grade, during a parent-teacher conference, Curtis’s teacher told his parents he was having trouble reading.Curtis thought to himself, “Well I'm not gonna let anyone ever call me dumb or stupid again.’ So instead of learning to read, I learned to hide the fact that I couldn't read.”(Rather 2).
I can relate and connect with the quote because I choose to hide the fact I couldn’t read for the longest time. It wasn't till the third grade when my aunt found out I was struggling with reading. I felt like if I told her she would have been disappointed in me for not knowing how to read in the third grade. When someone knows they can't do something or struggles to do something it makes them feel like their not smart. Curtis’s fear was having people call him stupid and dumb threw out his life and that is why he hid that he couldn't read.
Secondly, I could relate to Sara from ‘What She Left Behind’ by Tracy Bilen because I had to leave my mom behind in order to have a better life for myself. Sara also lost her mom because her mom was trying to leave her abusive husband. Sara’s mom was supposed to pick her up from school and they would leave together but her mom never came. Sara said, “Here I am on the verge of totally and completely freaking out about my mom, and Alex is asking me about a history paper” (Blien 25). When she first started saying that, it took me back to the day I came home to do homework and my life changed just like Sara’s. I remember my mom was watching TV and I was eating. Then my father walked in and asked her a question. My mother didn't answer and when she doesn't...