Our Time


Our Time Essay, Research Paper

An Injustice For All In Sonata Allegro Form

Wideman?s quotation from Brothers and Keepers could be interpreted to say a number of different things. The interpretation I could make is no person could explain the reason things are the way they are in life. In trying to come up with a logical answer they dwell on it and it becomes even more confusing. Afterwards they settle upon the conclusion that things happen for a reason and not in any kind of order. Wideman also claims that people do not have the power to control their own destinies. They are simply a product of their own environments and the events that make and shape them.

John Edgar Wideman?s ?Our Time? is an essay about how John and his brother Robby were products of their environments and random events. Wideman first uses an epilogue that explains what some aspects of living in ?street world life? are like. This is an attempt to make any of their wrong doings just. For example he says it was ?square to be smart in school? and ?it was jive to show respect to people outside the street world?. therefor justifying not doing the right thing as being acceptable. The epilogue helps me to kind of understand where John and Robby are coming from but still does not justify their actions. How rediculous would it life be if every time a close friend or family member died someone would go on a crime spree. But metaphorically speaking it gives us a canvas paint a picture on. After the epilogue Wideman jumps straight into an important part of the story, the death of Robby?s friend Garth in Robby?s point of view. This is important because this is what sparks Robby?s behavioral changes. Then John, as an outsider looking in on the situation moves onto how he views Robby. He understands Robby?s behavior is wrong but he lets it go because of all the awful things that Robby has gone through growing up. Wideman now finds that his mother is starting to accept that Robby is a product of his environment and the events lead up to his wrong doings. John visits Robby in prison and finally opens the lines of communication between each other. They decide to write a book together but John doubted himself. John did not trust himself with Robby?s story because he was tempted to make it his own. The first story Robby talks about is his friend Gar in the hospital. Gar seems very sick, he?s stuck in a hospital bed. He was misdiagnosed by the doctors and dies because of it. After the death of Gar, Robby turned into a hardcore gangster. He vowed to make it to the top of the ?street world?. This was his own choice. No one told him he had to turn to being a hardcore criminal.

After the epilogue Robby tells the story of Garth, his best friend that is sick in the hospital. John later on explains that Garth is misdiagnosed and dies not much sooner. This kind of puts Robby over the edge. While Robby?s gang dwells over Garth?s death Robby proposes a toast to do whatever it takes to make it to the top of the ?street world?. This is when the situation became really bad for Robby. He stole John?s television and later was convicted of robbery and murder. Their mother knew Robby was just acting out all of the anger that he has built up over the years so she sees the situation as someone being a product of random events that could not be controlled therefor her son?s actions are justified. John shows his bad side when he takes the money from his insurance and gets reimbursed for T.V. and does not tell anyone. Even though John?s crime did not compare to Robby?s crimes John still did the wrong thing and excused it by saying it was his surroundings that lead him to that point.

I feel that John and Robby were wrong about being products of their environments. Not only were they wrong but they used it as an excuse to get away with everything that they have done. I realized that John knows the difference between right and wrong because he does not steal his brother?s story. So for them to say that they had no choice in committing their crimes is not true.

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