Our Time

Topics: Understanding, Narrative mode, Family, A Story, Narrative, John Edgar Wideman / Pages: 3 (851 words) / Published: Feb 12th, 2015
Erika Burk
Professor Hall
English 102
John Edgar Wideman’s “Our Time” John Edgar Wideman’s piece, “Our Time,” is very similar to another piece we have read, “Our Secrets,” by Susan Griffin. Much like “Our Secret”, Wideman uses his writing to demonstrate that there is more to the world than what meets the eye. In contrast to Griffin’s seemingly unrelated stories about people in the past, Wideman uses examples from his own family and personal experience. Wideman focuses on his brother, Robby, and how he never fully understood why Robby made the choices he did. Wideman seems angry about where his brother’s actions have led the family and starts off feeling resentful and confused about why his brother did the things he did. This piece is really about Wideman looking past his own view of the situation and looking deeper into what choices his brother made that led him to being the person he was today (in trouble and serving time in prison). Wideman uses three different voices throughout his story to create an understanding of Robby. He uses his own voice and shows his own opinion of why things are the way they are, he uses Robby’s voice to demonstrate the things that happened to Robby to make him feel the way he does and acts, and he also uses the voice of his mother. Majority of his mother’s voice is interpreted by how Wideman saw it, but a few instances show were his mother’s voice really shines its own light. This piece was enjoyable to read because it brings up the same question that Griffin’s piece did, how are we defined as who we are? Through Wideman’s piece, we are able to see three different perspectives of people and life events that have contributed to understanding who Robby was and what events and experiences had led him to killing a man and being sentenced to imprisonment. Wideman admits he blamed a lot of the turmoil on his brother for being stupid and going too far, but through Robby’s testimony and his mother’s, we are able to see that there is a

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