The On The Rainy River By O ' Brien Essay example

The On The Rainy River By O ' Brien Essay example

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All people, regardless of race, gender, or profession, feel shame in their lives. Shame is defined as humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. Shame researcher Brené Brown in a Ted Talk defined guilt as “I’m sorry for this mistake” whereas shame is “I am a mistake.” She also stated that vulnerability is not weakness, and shame teaches creativity, emotional risk, courage, and innovation. Shame for not satisfying society’s standard of perfection leads people of different races and genders to hate themselves, to hide their flaws, and not to take the opportunities they want, when in reality making mistakes is human. Brown concludes that shame is an epidemic in our culture, and empathy is the antidote. In American society, Brown is not the only person to acknowledge shame. In autobiographical texts like “On the Rainy River” by O 'Brien, “Mirrorings" by Grealy, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self” by Walker, and “Letter to My Son" by Coates, the central argument seen throughout is that shame should be accepted because doing so brings inner peace and shapes identity. Similar language like tone, figurative language, and anecdotes is used in these four texts to convey the central argument.
Conveying a similar argument, all the memoirs were written by authors with different perspectives from each other. In “On the Rainy River” O’Brien was a white male who was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War in 1969. His hyper-patriotic townspeople supported the war, but the possibility of death scared O’Brien so much that he almost fled to Canada before his conscience stopped him. In the end, he went to war because he was scared of people thinking he was a coward if he really deserted. However, even considering des...


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...oke up in her defense and threatened to arrest Coates. Seeing his son on the sidelines reminds him to control himself. [quote (Coates 25)]. Although the authors had different experiences, each effectively recounted one memorable time to further the argument about shame.
To conclude, the central argument of the four texts is that shame should be accepted because doing so brings inner peace and shapes identity. By writing about the worst parts of their lives, each author sought to alleviate some of the shame they felt before writing their essay. Rather than bottling feelings, releasing secrets of their lives offered inner peace. In a world of unrealistic expectations of beauty and strength, all people feel shame and should not hide this shame. Confessing shame publicly encourages other people who hide their shame to honestly accept it instead. Cure shame with empathy.

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