INK (68-11)

   “Boots appear among the civilian footwear. Nightsticks hop in and out of view, and the sound is punctuated by the thud of wood on flesh. Gunfire starts peppering the audio.

‘It was like that in Cuba,’ Silvo says. ‘Didn’t matter which side you were on.’

    ‘Mother of God, ‘ Father Tom says.

    At the corner we see a girl , not much older than Abbie, go down under a volley of hard blows. She covers her head with her hands as she hits pavement, but blood seeps through her fingers and she stops moving” (Vourvoulias, 96).

At this point of the novel we are faced with idea of the havoc that is happening to the town. A war that is in some form a “declaration.” In this particular passage, the characters are watching virtually what is happening outside of the charred remains of Holy Innocents. In this passage we are gruesomely introduced to the horrors of what systems are failing such as the government. In the depiction of security of simply boots and nightsticks readers are immediately immersed into a corrupted negative feel. The lack of proper nouns such as people being named adds to the foreboding nature of this passage. It makes readers feel like it was depicting similar images of what happened during the Holocaust. With the reference to Cuba, we can see an extension to strip away people from their identities and significance. Silvo mentions that the side people were on “[d]idn’t matter.” As if the individuals themselves didn’t matter. Look at the one sentence “Gunfire starts peppering the audio.” The word peppering is not a typical description of gunfire. Pepper is an addition to flavor or an enhancement to something usually. The idea that the shots pepper the audio make the gunshots seem like they are enhancing the gruesomeness of the tragedy.

With Father Tom’s following comment, we can see the introduction of religion included. This simple comment of shock ties in the name of the church: Holy Innocents. The place where “innocents” are being shot, bludgeoned, and burned. The final image of the girl, illustrates to the readers the severity of what is occurring. From both a governmental situation and religious platform, sides do not matter. The final image of the girl ties this in, where readers are illustrated the damage that is occurring within the town. That this is reality, whether they want it or not.

This passage is also fascinating with the narration being placed in present tense along with the novel up to what we read. This makes every action much more active and so with this convergence of system corruption. It makes the scene much more poignant and powerful to the reader especially in relation to the girl.

How did this passage/section of the novel make you feel as a reader?

-Brandon Grispart

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7 thoughts on “INK (68-11)

  1. I like how you compare the war scene to the Holocaust, as I also pictured these brutal images to be similar to the slaying of the Jews. An interesting remark that you made that stood out was “we see the stripping away of people from their identity and significance.” It is eye-opening to see that people who commit the gruesome actions on the girl and others appear remorseless, as if they do not have a conscious. This, unfortunately, is relevant to the evil leaders of our own society, such as Hitler and Ghandi.

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  2. Great choice of quote overall. I agree we can see the introduction of religion and the tragedies that have occurred whether people would like to know or not. This example relates back to early World War II when Jewish and other people were targeted by nazis. I also believe the pronouns used in the story was intended for readers to both visualize and relate to such imagery!

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  3. It is disturbing to see armed men killing civilians but the dead girl adds a greater impact to the story. I agree with you, the scene does look like something in the Holocaust. I wonder what Silvio meant by “it was like that in Cuba”. I’m not entirely sure if Father Tom’s comment was meant to introduce religion, I thought it was what any man would say under such traumatic circumstances. That being said, the church’s name is Holy Innocents and yet in a twist of irony, innocent civilians are filled with bullet holes. The other irony i found is that there is gunfire in the sanctuary of a church.

    -Jiapeng Zhao

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  4. I definitely agree with your analysis of how the language used in this passage creates a tense and foreboding mood, especially the references simply to “boots” and “nightsticks” rather than actual people. The words combined with the present tense narration also add a sense of immediacy to the passage that in itself heightens the tense and frightening atmosphere. I also definitely see the parallel with the Holocaust, but also with images of war and civilian protest in more contemporary times. The description of the girl at the end of the passage is brutal and affecting. I think it underscores not just the severity of the conflict, but also truly drives home to the reader the fact that, in this situation, no one is safe.

    -Marjorie Eyong

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  5. I like how you chose to include the point of religion in the quote. Father Tom, a man of god cannot believe the horror in front of him. I think this serves as a way to display the true injustice and chaos that is occurring. The last image of a girl, falling to the floor appearing to die, ties this scene together and really exemplifies how the innocent are the ones who are really affected.

    -John Sieg

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  6. I really like the quote that you used because it also really stood out to me. This story really keeps the reader engaged by the help of imagery details and being that it is written in the present tense. When the war was taking place in this novel I had an overall image in my head of what the author was describing, but it never occurred to me that it is similar to the Holocaust. That was a really creative point that you made. Also the war that is happening shows the power of the corrupt government and religion.

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