Touching Spirit Bear
Cole Matthews is not an uncommon young man that one would find in today’s society. Cole has not had a life I would call “easy” or “fair.” He had parents that as Cole stated, “all my parents do is drink.” (p27) His father beat him profusely. This is evidenced in the Circle Justice meetings when Cole said, “Or you’ll what?” “Beat me?” …..” “You’re still lying!” he shouted. “You’re usually too drunk to know your own name!” Cole knew these words guaranteed him a terrible beating next time he was alone…(p47-48) Cole didn’t feel he had any other emotions other than anger and fear. Many of us have had the same feelings as Cole, “He didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t afraid of him.” (p4) This is an example of Cole’s fears, a direct result of his constant beatings given by his drunken father. At first Cole didn’t have any remorse for the beating he did to Peter. He only agreed to go to Circle Justice to prevent from going to jail. He still had learned nothing even after seeing how badly he had hurt Peter and the trouble he caused the family. The text supports this on page 50, “I have a son who has speech and coordination problems. He wakes up a night screaming with nightmares…..” Along with Cole, his father didn’t feel much remorse if any. He would rather have just pushed it away and pretended it never happened. He did not want to face reality either because then he would have to own up to himself and his own fears. Each time Cole thought about the Circle Justice meetings he grew more and more angry. After arriving to Circle Justice, Cole still had a chip. He burned down the shelter along with all the supplies. I couldn’t help but be so angry and frustrated at Cole. He was so stubborn. “Cole felt no regret for having burned the supplies and shelter.” (p45) Throughout the story you could feel Garvey and Edwin’s patience and at times frustration. Garvey smiled knowingly. “Go ahead and try it. Try manipulating a...
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