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Relating literature to real life -Everyday Use by Alice Walker and American Dream by Judith Ortiz Cofer and the homecoming of a fallen soldier.

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Throughout life we all face challenging situations that leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere with no place left to go but up. In society today most of the things we do are based on "change," both kinds, from positive to negative and could also include major life events such as death or marriage. Most life changing events result from traumatizing situations that leave the victim wounded either emotionally or psychically. In the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, Maggie's life changes when she is burnt in a house fire that sent her home burning to the ground. "Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie's arms sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in little black papery flakes" ( Walker 560) ...read more.


Vacant is the one word I would use when describing the streets of my town the day news of this tragic event leaked out. " There was an eerie feeling on the streets. I looked into Mario's drugstore, a favorite hangout for the high school crowd, but there were only a couple of old Jewish men at the soda bar, talking with the short order cook in tones that sounded almost angry, but they were keeping their voices low," ( Ortiz, 295). When I read this line in the short story, "American Dream" by Judith Ortiz Cofer it reminded me of exactly how my town appeared while I was driving home after a quiet day at school, empty and sad. ...read more.


" I didn't believe that such a world had ever really existed," ( Ortiz 294) . As his body was brought through our small town not one person spoke a word. I peered up at the sea of people, heads were lowered to show appreciation for this young solider that had lost his life while fighting for our freedom. From that day on citizens of my small community banded together for good, supporting each other and being their shoulder to cry on. Not a day goes by when I don't think about how grateful I truly am to have such a supportive change in my community. I've learned that sometimes it takes a tragic event to occur in order for something or someone to change and to be more supportive. Strength is my definition of change, be the individual that's strong enough to change; for the better. Brewer 3 ...read more.

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