Analytical Essay:

One’s self is determined directly by the world around them. The self, a person's conscience, is built off of how the person reacts to the changing world. If the person is reactionless to the changes around them than there consciousness is built off of the impact that these changes have brought to their lives. Either by reaction or lack thereof the self is constantly being forced to change. Theses changes can be extreme or very miniscule but ultimately no one can escape them because they are what makes each and every individual who he or she is.

What is the changing world? It is everything that affects an individual. Every decision that they make or that is made for them. Whether they decided to get out of bed at 7:50 rather than 6:50, or if their mom made pancakes instead of waffles. Every moving second of an individual's life makes up the changing world. There is not a single moment where the world does not change. This is why the changing world is so crucial in determining a person’s self. How they deal with the small changes such as losing a favorite toy when they are younger coincidentally is similar to how they would deal with major changes such as the loss of a loved one or even getting their car stolen.

One can be affected by huge changes in the changing world in two different ways. By either reacting to a change, or by the impact that the change brought on their life. Both ways leave the individual completely anew. For example, in the book the The Things They Carried when one of Sergeant Jimmy Cross’s soldiers were shot and killed he reacted to this change by erasing his emotional attachment to a girl back home named Martha. “Jimmy Cross crouched at the bottom of his foxhole and burned Martha’s letters”. (pg23) This reaction to death changed the self of Jimmy Cross. He was now a more stringent leader. He “He was now determined to perform his duties firmly and without negligence… On the march he would impose strict field discipline. He would be careful to send out flank security, to prevent straggling or bunching up, to keep his troops moving at the proper pace and at the proper interval. He would insist on clean weapons. He would confiscate the remainder of Lavender's dope.” (pg25)  This new mentality was forced upon the sergeant by this new change is his world.

On the other hand the more subliminal effect of the changing world is also demonstrated in the book. In the same scenario, the other soldiers under Cross’s command are a bewildered but they do not react to the change. When one of the soldiers utters "Oh shit, the guy's dead. I mean really" (Pg13) after examining the body it shows that he has dealt with this change by accepting the reality of it. This changed the self by making it more mentally prepared to handle situations similar to the death of a comrade. Also, by the author using the phrase to end the scene really stressed the how the self dealt with this change.

The author Tim O’Brien constantly showed in the book connections between the self and the changing world. He did this through stories which were sometimes true and sometimes fabricated. When asked in an interview about this he said “Stories, retold, carry the force of legend.” What the author is saying is that the legend in the stories is changed based on what the storyteller wants to portray. This portrayal is directed to the self of the person being told the story. In this example the changing world is the story being told in different variations to stimulate a different change in the self of the person.

A changing world will always force the change of the self. This is portrayed extensively in the book as well as in interview with the author. Through the examples provided one can see the dependency, because in a world that is constantly changing the self will always react or deal with these changes.  

Works Cited for Analytical Essay:

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.

Bourne, Daniel, and Shostak, Debra. "A Conversation with Tim O'Brien." The College of Wooster. October 2, 1991. Web. October 20, 2009.

Narrative Essay:

“It is hard to get an A at SLA” where Mrs. Martin’s words to me on the first day at this new school.

Catholic is nothing like public school. It was very straightforward. Go to school, and do all my homework, and do well on the test. Just like that high academic achievement was easily attained by me during my time there. I was in my own world, and nothing could have prepared me for my recent transferal from catholic school to public school. I was astonished. The sheer freedom that the public school students received over catholic school students blew my mind. Things like: no dress code, freedom to eat in class, and non-assigned seats were very new to me. Coming from this hardcore and strict background I was got carried away and began to procrastinate on my work at this new school. What happened to me was, this change in my world required me to change my self in order to progress. Instead I let the change happen without me reacting to it and it lead to various issues with my teachers during my first few weeks.

The biggest and most important change that I faced was the change in how work was given and graded. Previously assignments at catholic school were very straightforward. My new school called Science Leadership Academy, where everything is project based really was new to me. Due to my lazy attitude towards school I put almost all of the first assignments and projects off to the last minute. This impacted my first quarter report card severely where I received a C in math which has constantly been my most consistent grade throughout high school, with an high A.

After that first quarter report card I realized that I never reacted to the change of my new school, and all I did was just deal with it. I thought back to my conversation with Mrs. Martin. I thought of the mountain of work it required to excel here and almost caved in from the challenge. I came to the conclusion that my grades were receiving a hit because of two reasons: Handing in assignments on time and the quality of the assignments I hand it.

To improve my grades I had to react to this change and change my self. I had to put more time into papers I write making sure that they are thorough. I had to not lose homework papers and write neater. Rushing was now off the table for me, everything I now did for school I took my time and gave a one hundred percent effort.

Through this monumental change in my life during my critical junior year my world change around me. I thought just allowing it to happen would be the best way to cope, but I was wrong. I found out later that I had react to the change in my world. My self was changed through this experience I was now a more productive student and that will definitely help me get to the college of my dreams.

Comments (4)

Huzaifah Malik (Student 2016)
Huzaifah Malik

1) I liked how you explained your experience in the narrative essay. 2) I learned that you went to a Catholic school 3) I also liked how you started off your narrative essay with a quote. I think it's a good style and I'm definitely going to try in the future

Jamison Turner (Student 2016)
Jamison Turner
  1. The opening sentence of your Narrative Essay grabs the reader well.
  2. I learned you prefer public school to catholic school.
  3. I'm going to try and use a quote as an opening sentence in my next narrative piece.
Raz Reed (Student 2016)
Raz Reed
  1. Abdul told me to read it.
  2. I learned that he went to a Catholic school before he went to SLA.
  3. Abdul is very good at giving relevant examples and providing analyses for them.