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Wide Man

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In John Edgar Widesman's overwhelm hard to understand story "Our Time", he talks about his younger brother Robby and his discontent troubles he had growing up in his neighborhood with his family in Homewood. He explains to us in his story in 3 different perspectives the voice of his mother, voice of his brother Robby, and his own voice, which is Widesman. Throughout his writing in his story, he had studied his mother, his grandfather, and the troubles Robby has gone through which ended him up in jail for the rest of his life. In John Widesman's writing, he likes to analyze his own life, his personality, and himself as a writer. He illustrates us his struggles he realizes while writing and interviewing about his brother and the adjustments he has to make when writing the essay. The reason why is because helps build this imagine in our min like if we were watching a movie.

Before Wideman began talking about his story he would talk about his brothers good friend Garth and his wrongful death. He died because doctors who didn't care about him misdiagnosed him. He discussed how Garth's death triggered Robby to go down hill and his mother having to deal with Robby's crazy life. Wideman would say about her mother that, "She would become aggressive, acid critic of the status quo in all its forms: from the president on down the bank tellers ('I go there every Friday and I'm one of the few blacks faces she sees all day and she knows me as well as she knows that wart on her check but she'll still make me show my license before she'll cash my check')"(667). From this it gives me a sense of the struggles and discrimination African Americans would have to face everyday in there lives. Since Wideman didn't live with his mother he wasn't fully aware or would understand her mother's problems.

In the story Wideman writes, "That day six years later, I talked with Robby three hours, the maximum allotted for weekday visits with a prisoner. It was the first time in life we'd ever talked that long. Probably two and a half hours longer than the longest, unbroken, private conversation we'd ever had"(671). This shows how much he had grown distant from his family especially his brother. He explains that he tends to pay too much attention listening to himself listen which makes him miss some of Robby's points during their conversation. He hears that only what he likes, while rejecting the true pain Robby feels from this reality, which in turn distances himself more from Robby as brothers. Wideman writes, "That habit would destroy any chance of seeing my brother on his terms; and seeing him in his terms, learning his terms, seemed the whole point of learning his story"(674). In Wideman realizing his flaw, he attempts to learn to listen and try to fully understand Robby's story the way Robby tells it. He believes they have to come together



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