Close Reading Paper: The Turtle Catcher
For this assignment I will be analyzing this portion of writing from page 138 of The Turtle Catcher by Nicole Helmet. (For reference in the paper) “I got my enlistment papers today,” said Lars. “Where’re yours?” Herman stopped smiling. He didn’t reply. “I said, Where are yours?” said Lars. “I won’t be going,” Herman said. His voice was straight and calm though his heart thudded as hard as hooves in his throat. “You hear that, Cal?” Lars said to the other boy. “Richter says he’s not going.” Cal grunted and stepped forward into the lantern light. He held a sickle. “Your daddy not gonna let you fight in the big war?” teased Lars. “Or are you afraid to fight?” “I’m not afraid to fight,” said Herman. He eyed the sickle and wondered if Cal would actually use it on him. Then he looked at Lester and pursed his lips. “What then?” asked Lars. “You plan on stealing our land while we go to war?” “What?” said Herman. “Of course not.” “That’s not what my pa says,” said Lars. “My pa says your pa is a treasonous snake who plans on buying up this whole section while his neighbors go to Europe to fight for this country.” And then Herman said something he didn’t believe: “Well then your pa’s wrong.” Cal dropped the sickle, pulled back his fist, and mashed it into Herman’s mouth. Herman dropped to the ground, his lip swelled immediately. To set the scene, the Richter’s were trying to fulfill their version of the American dream in Minnesota after having emigrated from Germany in the 1800’s. But enter a former fatherland marching into battle with the rest of Europe, and now you have a big wrench thrown into that dream. This is exactly why I chose this piece, all this added unwanted influence from Germany causing a split in the family. And it is here in this passage that I have chosen that one can see how this world changing moment comes into play with your average American. That is why after doing some close reading on this piece it ultimately...
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