Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Reading Reflection #2

Go Ask Alice
Pages 55-111
As I continue to read Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, I am very entertained and a bit surprised. This book is full of drama such as Alice and her friend, Chris, running away, both of them getting raped, and returning home only to run away again. From reading through these crazy events, I gathered some questions, comments, predictions, and even some text connections to either myself or things around me.
The first comment I had was about a quote that Chris told Alice. The quote was, “A man’s blood soon runs cold where there is no one around to warm it up.” I don’t believe this is always true, and it’s frustrating that people generalize so often or make assumptions based on just their lives and experiences. I think if you have a very good bond with someone and have been with them for a long time; it is very possible to be apart from each other without losing feelings. The next comment is on the same topic of relationships. Alice talks about how she would do anything for this guy that she just started to have a thing with, and she even says that she would give up college to work to provide for this guy and his dreams. I cannot disagree with this outlook more. I think anytime in the teenage years is too young to give up anything for anyone else. You only have one solid shot at school, and I definitely don’t see how someone could throw that away for someone else. I believe young relationships can work, but you have to add that person to your life, not give things up to fit them in. You work hard in your teenage years, why share that hard work’s earnings? Alice’s bad judgment on people doesn’t just stop at the ‘friends’ who drugged her. She goes out with a guy named Richie thinking he is going into medicine and that he is really into her, but he turns out gay and only using her to sell drugs for him. I think this is good writing on the author’s part because the character should keep their characteristics throughout the book, and Alice definitely does. After Alice and Chris run away, Alice says, “I will never ever under any circumstances use drugs again. They are the root and cause of this whole rotten, stinking mess I am in, and I wish with all my heart and soul that I had never heard of them.” This gave me hope for Alice that maybe she would go home and quit drugs for good because it sounded like she still knows at that point what is going on in her life and where she went wrong. She does eventually return home, but starts using drugs again to the point where she gets caught. This shows a lack of self-discipline in her. The most shocking moment of what I have read of the book so far is when her and Chris take ‘Smack’ and ‘Speed’ that was set up and given to them while they’re living in a different town by themselves, and the two people who gave them these drugs took turns raping them and treating them brutally. That is something that you never want to happen to you in your life and I’m sure you can never forget that. Alice never really carries on her thoughts about it and I’m wondering if it really damaged her the way it would for non-drug users. With the use of drugs come people being able to take advantage of you. I don’t understand why you would let someone have that sort of power over you just so you can have a great high, but I am not in Alice’s place or situation. At first in the book Alice says,”I wish I could talk to my mother about things like this…” Now, after she returns home from running away, she says, “It was a nice warm feeling knowing that we were communicating, and much more than vocally! I really have a great family.” Even with the huge event with her running away, there’s still a bright side, and that bright side is that she is closer with her family after running away than ever before. Since her family is so welcoming and kind, it’s surprising that she gets into this mess, and it makes it very real that anyone can get addicted. A quote that I liked from the pages I read was Alice talking about a guy named George. The quote says, “He’s kind of nothing but I guess that’s the safest kind.” I think this is interesting and possibly a bit true. When you’re ‘nothing’ you don’t have much going on and you’re not caught up in drama and other people. You’re probably thought of to be pretty relaxed and not out there to hurt anyone. There are a few other quotes I picked out of the text because they interested me. The first one is, “After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs.” Alice also reveals that drug users just exist from one experience to the next. These thoughts mean that maybe while you’re alive, you’re not living in the here and now. You’re not focusing on reality and the world around you. All you care about if you’re doing as many drugs as Alice is about the trips, and in between those you have nothing to live for. Something else Alice suggests that catches my attention is when she says, “I bet the pill is harder to get than drugs­-which shows you how screwed up this world really is!” I think this is true. Drugs are easier to obtain because you don’t always need to go over the counter to pick them up, but that’s also the reason why there are so many faults and deaths dealing with drugs. You never know who made them or what is really in them. One last comment I had was about a little girl’s life in the book. Alice runs away for the second time because she is close to getting caught and letting down her family. While she is taken to doctor’s office in another town by a social worker, she meets Doris and hears her story. Doris explains that her father abused her and threatened her for years. She was then put into a foster home where her brothers did the same to her. She started getting into drugs and became attracted to girls. When Alice meets her, Doris is fourteen and willing to get into bed with anyone and everyone. Even though this is a book, these things still happen in real life and it’s absolutely horrible. I don’t think anyone deserves to have a bad life at home because it carries out throughout your whole life, and usually your parents have a big influence on how you are as a person.
Besides the comments I had while reading this part of Go Ask Alice, I also had some text to self connections. One example of this is when Alice explains that her and Chris are thinking about quitting their jobs because it’s getting so that they have no time to do the things they really want to do. I think everyone feels at some point that all they’re doing is working, and I know I’ve had that thought of quitting and doing all the other things that I would actually enjoy doing. Another text to self connection that I found was about Christmas. Alice says that she wanted to have her own little special and sacred part of the day to review, repent, and recommit herself. I feel like I go through the same thing around Christmas time. It’s a holiday to really renew yourself and touch up everything you’ve been longing to about yourself.
One word I found in this section of reading that I did not know before is ‘asinine’. This means to be extremely stupid or foolish.
This book is written as a journal and you asked what some of the benefits/drawbacks of this style of writing were. A benefit of this style is that it is very detailed and you get to go deep into the journal writer’s life. A drawback is that you rarely get to hear about other peoples’ feelings which can definitely make it a whole different story. I have read this book before and I am half done reading it for the second time.
Overall I’m enjoying this book and having an easy time picking out connections, comments, and questions. 

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