First Scene Paragraph – From the Black Hills

A visit from detective Tom DeWitt catches our protagonist, Mike, off guard as he is sat with his mother during dinner. He is angry at the thought that Tom would have the nerve to pry into their personal lives uninvited; “[As] if he wanted to be thought of as a friend” (page 78). In this scene, it is evident that Mike doesn’t trust Tom DeWitt with investigating his father’s trial, questioning him and talking back at him any chance that he gets. Mike acts very immature in this scene, as he is 18 but does not take the situation seriously, shown when he makes a joke about his father’s disappearance. “Didn’t [Dad’s friend] say he’d hide Dad if he ever killed anybody?” (Mike’s page 79) “None of this is funny, Mike.” (Mike’s mother, page 79). Mike’s internal conflicts come to light, by joking he shows that he is uncomfortable and just wants to forget about the entire situation and just move on with his life; but the current circumstances won’t allow it. It is evident in other parts of the chapter that he is a smart person, but does not use his intelligence to his advantage within these situations. I do not think he acted appropriately when faced with Tom DeWitt, either. It is Tom’s job to try and decipher his father’s disappearance, which would benefit Mike and his mother by giving them closure instead of wondering if he will ever return. In terms of the storyline, I think it would be more interesting if Mike were to pry more into the situation. At the moment, he’s seen just sitting back and watching the entire thing unfold, but not really asking questions or trying to figure things out for himself. This being said, I think that Mike has the right to put that aside and move on with his life if he chooses. Moving to a new school is hard enough (especially college), and having everyone talk about something bad that’s been forced into your life and make assumptions based on that may affect how people perceive you.  If I were in this situation, I would definitely want to know every detail I possibly could and try to squeeze as much information out of anyone I thought might know something that I didn’t. However, I do not think that Mike’s reaction is unreasonable. I can understand especially since Mike is transitioning into his official adult life that he would want to start fresh and become more independent; which is inevitable to all of us with the coming of age.

One thought on “First Scene Paragraph – From the Black Hills

  1. Sam,

    A great first response to your independent novel study.

    Stars:
    – Excellent discussion of Mike’s internal and external conflicts through the use of quotations from your reading. Evidence is concise and explained clearly!
    – Personal connections are well-developed and show a deep understanding and attention to your reading. Bravo!

    Wishes:
    – Remember to read work aloud to catch grammatical errors and tense shifts. For example: “It is Tom’s job to try and decipher his father’s disappearance, which would benefit Mike and his mother by giving them closure instead of wondering if he will ever return.” You might consider switching to more active verbs here by stating “It is Tom’s job to try and decipher his father’s disappearance, which benefits Mike and his mother, giving them closure instead of wondering if he will ever return.”

    – How might you connect your excellent evidence to the BC curriculum social responsibility competency?

    Great work! I look forward to reading your final responses.

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