English 300 - Fall 2004

This is my class journal for Professor Sexson's Critical Theory class.



Describe a text that made you cry.

I could go on forever and sound like a big wuss. Seriously. People were talking in class about Braveheart (yeah I cried when his new wife died AND when he gets his guts ripped out with a hook) or Where the Red Fern Grows (and yes I used to just flip to the end and read that just for the sheer sadness). Ending of Final Fantasy X? Yeah I cried there too.

I've already talked about Crime and Punishment, so I'll leave THAT alone (I just cried because Rodya was going to marry Sonia and was therefore no longer available!!! --Just kidding.)

How about this then. Anyone who has not read anything from John Irving definately should. I remember I cried at the end of A Prayer for Owen Meany--which, by the way, is an EXCELLENT book.

...Wait. After looking at a few other people's journals and taking a break, I think writing about an experience as opposed to a literary work might work better here.

When I was in Germany, we visited Dachau (there was an extermination camp there, you know). First of all I thought it was somewhat of a SIN to make that kind of place into a tourism place. But it wasn't really like that--tourist-like, i mean.

Being in a place where someone died is a really soul-wrenching experience. Now try a place where thousands of people died. The ovens and the tray-type gurneys they loaded the bodies in with were still there. Some of the old walls were still up, and you could see fingernail scratches in them.

Outside the sky was bright blue and blank of any clouds; it was hot; a steady breeze blew but that was the only sound. It could have just been imagination, but if you stood still, you could feel some kind of presence--I can only describe it as one that was deeply saddening.

I wasn't really that aware of the tears in my eyes--I just couldn't stop thinking about all these nameless, unknown people who were destroyed here for their crime: being. We want control so much, and these people had absolutely nothing they could do. They were destroyed by their own country--the place they called home. To throw away so many lives--I wanted to know each person individually, not as a group of "victims" but as individual people who had their own lives, dreams, spirits.

But their stories will never be told. Their incomplete lives will never be found. These people died completely.

No one should have to die this way.


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