Reaction Paper—Nonfiction Essay

When reading I came across some interesting non-fiction story and letter written by well known authors. They were all good but there was two that I had the most reaction to. When I came across these two letters I felt like I had a connection with the author. The letter Salvation by Langston Huge, when I read could relate to it cause I to come from a christen background, and in the story by Lam about his mother I felt like keeping family tradition should always remain I a person life.

So I thought it would be good to explain my reaction in detail by stating the strategies, themes and what makes these non-fiction stories. In the story “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone” by Andrew Lam, the author Lam give the reader a personal account of his life. While at a birthday party for his mother who was turning seventy, he overheard his mother ask his aunt, “Who will light the incense we I’m gone”? This was a traditional thing that see did, the light of the incense was done to acknowledged the dead, and to talk to them and ask for help from them.

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He then struggles with himself wondering why he doesn’t feel the need to want to continue this life long tradition. When looking through this story I found out that Lam used biographic strategy to help the read fully understand his point of view. With this strategy lam was able to give the reader an indebt description of what it was like for him growing up, as a young Americanized Vietnamese man. He make mention that his mom often ask him to speak their native tongue, when he was a teen. His response was “what good is it to speak it? It not like I’m going to use it when I move out.” At end of the story the read is left with mixed emotion, will he every commit to his families tradition and start to light the incense or will he continue to live his life the same he always has. When reading the story “Salvation” by Langston Hughes I thing that he also used the strategy biographic criticism, which he uses to explain to the reader how he feels about his childhood conversion.

As he goes through his story he used this strategy as a base in which to convey to the reader the problem he had growing up. In the story he was twelve and was participating in his aunt’s church revival. It was the last day of the revival, which meant that the youth of the church was to be saved. During the days leading up to this event, his aunt tells him that to be saved he will see a light and Jesus appear and then he will be saved. He and the other youth was brought to the front of the church, Langston never saw Jesus and was pleasured to be saved. He explains to the reader that he was not sure what he was feeling. At the end of this story he explains that this event that he went through was a lonely one. He is then seen crying and his aunt again blames it on him being saved but Hughes says it was because he lied to God and to his aunt. This form of writing is seen throughout the whole story.

The fact that is a form of biography show the reader a part of himself that otherwise would not been seen. While reading “Who Will light The Incense When Mother Gone” by Andrew Lam, I had several different type of felling. The way lam tell the story about mother and his family traditions, made think and try to relate to both him and his mother. In some way I could relate to Lam, I the youngest of five and in some sense my family had some tradition. Although are way wasn’t as intense as Lam and his family. It was too driven by religion. I grow up in a christen family with my father being a preacher. So I would have to attend church almost three times a day. During the summer I would go to church base camps. It was like a routine every year. As I grown older I started to form my own idea about life, and with this new found freedom I was able to pick what church I wanted to attend on Sunday, I also didn’t have to go at all.

So as I stop going my d Dad would pressure even more to live the life he wanted. Even now I go to church, but I often thing it is because I was told to. On the other hand I can understand where is mother is coming from. I think that Lam’s mother only want to preserve what little bit of her legacy, and when she is gone she knows that there is no hope of that. Every sense she moved from Vietnamese her kid had become Americanized and is slowly losing all touch of their heritage. She just wants to know that not all things from her pass will we erased. As for the theme of from “Salvation” by Langston Hughes, the reaction I had was very personal. I have never been in that type of situation, I have been in places where people was in a sense forced to life changing decision.

Like Langston I too attended week long revival, like Langston I was told what to look for and what feeling to expect while attending church. I was a little upset to see the way he was treated in this essay. As a preacher son I to know a lot about religion, and what I read was not the correct approach. To force you believes on any one like that is to me morally incorrect. He was told what to feel and see and he failed to see that, so he didn’t want to get up, like the other kids. I think that he should have just told his aunt how he felt and it would had saved him a lot of grieve. In these stories one most consider that they are non-fiction, simply for the reason that they are realistic account of the author’s lives. Both stories are narrated by the authors themselves, the authors write about certain events conflicts that they both went through at a young age.

They then used their creative writing skill to get the reader interested with the subject they were writing on. Although based on a fact or actual experience, both writers have to use their imagination to rewrite their experiences, to make the feelings or ideas that were needed to convey to the readers. The authors have used their skills and styles to capture the audience imagination as the stories go on. Since the reader had not experienced what the author was going through, the authors were challenged to bring the reader into their lives when they were just young men. This was done to help the reader to understand the ages and, mental state of the two authors. On the other hand the reader must also use some sense of imagination to recreate the scenes in the stories.

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