No one ever stays the same. With people, it is common find that they are different depending on their years; someone aged 12 will be different than 22 or very different than 42 and even more different at 82. Aside from genetics, much of this comes through circumstance and change resulting around them. Some of this results in more worldly circumstances, like a leader in rights movement, others is more personal, like becoming mature after becoming a parent. In the book “The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers it’s main character, Private Bartle, specifically dramatic changes as the result of his circumstances. Thoughtout the book, the author demonstrates that one’s self will either adjust to the changing world; or it will not, the former of which will be easier than the later.
In the Book “The Yellow Birds,” Bartle begins to recant his decision to join the army, remembering when he was bullied; “Pushed you around in the cafeteria,... because you liked reading books and poems… they’d call you fag.”(Pg. 145) This circumstance in Bartle's life, caused a big shift in his identity to show his manliness, and begins to set in motion the entire book. So his identity would forever be altered by this change in his world.
Kevin Powers later shows the change war has on people with the, self explanatory saying from Private Murph, with the thoughts from Private Bartle, “Holy shit, that bitch got murdered.” Murph said. There was no grief, or anguish, or pity in that statement.” (Pg.22) In sections that showed who Private Murph, demonstrated he was more on the sensitive side, who even kept a token of his old girlfriend with him, so to him to such a relaxed attitude to death, especially one so sudden is a bit of a culture shock for the readers. The author has shown this, in order to demonstrate how one needs to adjust to how their world has changed. Bartle and Murph would never have been able to survive as long as they did, or at all had they not trained themselves to see death on such a large and grand scale. And while it would have been hard to adjust to such a grim reality, not doing so would almost certainly have resulted in their death or at least a much more traumatic experience for the soldiers by the fact of having to adjust to such a dark reality in the moments that they lived in them. In this case “Bliss through Ignorance” is a common phrase that fits this situation.
The author also touched on this in an interview about the book, in which he stated “I was interested in trying to describe this state between apprehension and comprehension. That is one of the primary characteristics of the experience of being at war: it's so intense and you don't have time to process.” What the author is saying here is that trying to process it, like previously mentioned, is almost impossible to do, due to the traumatising atmosphere that war breeds and creates. Trying to process what happened in such a chaotic and volatile situation isn’t good for the human mind to take, so the book truly follows in the thesis and “adjusts) to the changing world”, in this case the changing world is the war that they are in and are forced to adjust to this extreme circumstance.
The changing world thesis can be attributed to the the basic theory of evolution- and how those that are able to adapt are also the ones the survive. In the book “The Yellow Birds” Kevin Powers has shown how changing world and circumstance has affected his characters and the reasoning behind it. Within an individual's lifetime the world will likely change and sift many times, either in political, social or some other kind of feeling many times, as shown in “The Yellow Birds” and demonstrates how important for an individual's lifespan to evolve with the times.
Works Cited for Analytical Essay:
Powers, Kevin. "August 2005 Richmond, Virginia." The Yellow Birds. 1st ed. New York: Back Bay / Little, Brown, 2012. 145-146. Print.
Lewis, Tim. "Kevin Powers: 'I've Always Had a Certain Level of Comfort with the Dark Part of the Human Experience'" The Guardian.com. The Guardian, 23 June 2013. Web. 6 Jan. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jun/23/kevin-powers-interview-yellow-birds>.
Evolution's a funny thing isn't it? How nature becomes the ultimate judgement on what stays and what leaves. Try try as we might, eventually nature, both outside and; in this case specifically to ourselves chooses what stays and what leaves. Within the past few years I have; evolved so much so that I consider myself almost, if not completely different from the boy I was, even five years ago. Most, if not all of it included changes to my own world, big and small, that would have lasting effects in me.
For a long time I was bullied, because I was perceived as being gay, even though I wasn’t comfortable even thinking about the possibility myself. I had this terrible notion, from what I gathered from being around those classmates, that being gay meant I couldn't be the best of myself, that I couldn’t be the “ultimate me” in a sense. However on one of our last class trips as part of our 8th grade perks, I began to feel sad I would have to say goodbye to a particular classmate. I didn’t know him particularly well, nor did I consider myself to be good friends with him, but I felt a twinge of sadness at the prospect of saying goodbye, more so than many other classmates.
Eventually on the trip I had considered the idea that I might be attracted to him but kept going back and forth on it. Eventually when we got to the restaurant, a Chinese one at that, a received a fortune cookie. And would you have it I received the most, situation appropriate fortune. “In order to get the Rainbow, you have to get through the rain.” And when I saw it I felt as though the fates were whispering, or more accurately screaming at me and through it I felt a wide cocktail of feelings that pointed towards that I might be a little, if not completely gay. To delay the inevitable is to prolong needless suffering, I’ve often found. In this case it was very soon, that I started to accept who I was and it made life easier for myself a lot more than if I had continued to neglect that part of my life.
After coming out i was able to be more open with myself and to others, I felt more risk taking and felt I could connect to people since connecting to myself. I often think of it as if my ribs were broken open and my soul flew free. Allowing myself to be stuck inside of what I had as a pre-notion of my life wouldn’t have been at beneficially to me, instead it ultimately would have been harmful for my mental well being. Adapting to my changing world was unquestionably for the better and am glad I did so.