In the beginning she mentioned her father's eyes, as eyes of somebody who she loves, somebody who’s very close to her. As well as her daughter sees the world in her eyes at the end of the essay. After rereading the essay you understand why phrase “beautiful eyes” is so significant. That was one of the brightest moments that she saw before her brother shoot her in the eye and from the beautiful cute little child she turns to a quiet self-conscious girl who’s ashamed of her scar and doesn’t want to raise her head up. Most likely in those years she never thought that her brothers could be jealous, and disinterestedly wanted to be like them, and that’s why she is upset that her parents didn’t buy her BB gun. She thinks that she gets everything because of her beauty, not because she was a little girl, when mention that it was not important whether the eye could see again but praying for to remain her beautiful look. She mentioned that she always wanted to be with father, for that she would even put up with pain from grooming her hair. You need to sacrifice something to get something.
Writer uses the present tense because she sees herself in different periods of her life, three different periods of living in one person: a little cute child then girl with defected eye and finally reconciled, wise woman who accepts herself as is. Therefore, the past tense is not appropriate, she’s no longer plead for beauty, and grateful that she had seen the desert.
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