The Circle of Life

April 13, 2009
By Sonja SILVER, Tucson, Arizona
Sonja SILVER, Tucson, Arizona
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

In the stories, “The Village Singer” and “The Little Wife”, from the book Great American Short Stories, Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley both learn valuable lessons. They learn that the way they respond to a change will affect how content they find themselves with their lives. As each character grows and discovers new life-lessons the reader grows and stretches along side of them. The characters, Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley help and hurt others along the way. Nevertheless, perhaps the most important lesson the reader could gather from these stories is that life is a circle, never ending. There are two circles, one of deceit, evildoing, pessimism, and eternal death, and another, this one of truth, good deeds, optimism, and eternal life. A person can pick either circle to follow; he can change if he thinks he picked the wrong one, but no matter when he changes, it will hurt.

The main characters of the stories come from different backgrounds. Miss Whitcomb, an elderly woman, who single, finds herself solely living for her position as head soprano. Mr. Hinckley a young traveling salesman, newly married, lives for the time he can spend with his young wife, Bessie. These characters live for a temporary earthly possession instead of for an eternal heavenly possession. Every person has a choice to make, whether they will put their focus on God or on short-term pleasure. If a possession, position, or person becomes more important to him than his relationship with God, then that will affect the way that he responds to problems and difficulties that might arise.

Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley both faced losing something of importance and they both respond differently. Miss Whitcomb, who sang in the church choir, faced the reality of losing her position as head soprano while Mr. Hinckley, faced the horrible truth of losing his wife, Bessie. Miss Whitcomb responded with anger, frustration, and revenge; she decided that if she were not able to have the position as head soprano, she would make it as hard as possible for the new head soprano. Mr. Hinckley responded simply; he denied the problem’s existence; afraid of the pain and hurt he would feel if he admitted to himself that his wife had died. Both responses are wrong, and both brought hurt in the end. Their point was to stop the pain that came with the difficulty, yet the reactions only ushered in a greater pain.

Both, Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley find themselves learning to accept change. Change although inevitable is not always good. It comes in many shapes and forms, some change people find hard, and some goes unnoticed but it always happens. Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley also searched themselves trying to find contentment in the changes that had been wrought in their lives. Each character had different lessons to learn as well, Mr. Hinckley had to learn that a person could not live on just memories. While Miss Whitcomb had to learn that treating others with kindness and respect goes a lot farther in friendships.

Characters in books can help a person in real life situations. When the person encounters a situation almost identical to the problem in the book, he can draw off the strengths and weaknesses that the character portrayed. Miss Whitcomb and Mr. Hinckley both helped the reader to understand important life concepts. What a person lives for will affect how he responds, how he respond to a situation will affect his outlook on change, and if he does not have a positive view on change he will find his contentment level small. All together, these concepts help to form a circle; if a person remains positive in all of these steps; he will find it easy to have a positive outlook on life. If he steps outside this positive circle, he will find himself with a negative view on life, his contentment level will be small, and he will find things that were formally easy to conquer difficult to overcome. It is very easy to step outside of that circle, and hard to get back in.

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This article has 5 comments.

marmaduke said...
on Apr. 16 2009 at 4:04 pm
I enjoyed your review. You expressed you thoughts really well. Keep it up!

job14:1 said...
on Apr. 16 2009 at 12:52 am
Another great one keep it up...

CaptainKirk said...
on Apr. 16 2009 at 12:26 am
Excellent! I love it! I love how you always bring scripture into your writing!

Also your sentence "If a possession, position, or person becomes more important to him than his relationship with God, then that will affect the way that he responds to problems and difficulties that might arise." gave ME a good reminder!

HannahS2 said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 5:52 pm
This is a AWSOME artical. (And i'm not just saying this because you go to the same school as me.) You're a really good writer.

Mia13 said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 4:33 pm
Great article Sonja! I hope to see more of you writing! Keep up the good work!


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