The Unjust World
The world revolves around unseen forces that surround us. We don’t have a complete knowledge of why everything happens, and so much of what goes on in our lives is a mystery to us all. As we grow up, we learn more about what is happening and why it’s happening, but as a child, much of this cannot be explained. In Conroy’s memoir Stop Time, he documents his journey to adulthood, which is paved with moments of revelations when he begins to learn more about the world and how it works. Through his loss at the town yo-yo competition Conroy learns how to cope with the life he is dealt and make do with what he has. A common theme in Conroy’s memoir is that the world is something that cannot be controlled and trying to do so is an exercise of futility. One way that Conroy depicts this theme is through the naming of the most difficult trick in yo-yoing – “the Universe”. The simple name of the trick has a deeper meaning than the trick itself. The fact that Frank constantly struggles with this trick corresponds with his struggle to control the outcome of his life. Other people have always dictated his life, whether by moving from state to state, being forced to work in various odd jobs, or switching schools. He has no way to control, or master the universe because it is beyond him and out of his control. Another metaphor between the yo-yo and Frank’s life comes into play when Frank tackles “the Universe” trick part by part by “[breaking] it down into three steps” (121), which symbolizes taking baby steps in life. Instead of trying to solve all his problems in life at once, Frank learns to take each obstacle one at a time. By breaking it down, he is able to stay afloat above his sea of troubles and take one small victory at a time towards solving the big issue. After these small victories, he is able to finally complete the entire “Universe” trick which represents him growing up and realizing how the world works. In the passage, Conroy describes his...
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