Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Journal Three from Betsy Lyons

One strength that I noticed about Holding On is how Isay involves himself with each story that he is telling. Whether he include dialogue or write in the first person narrative, the readers can hear Isay's voice. Isay really makes himself seem known that he is there and the readers feel like they are there as well within the story. He also captured the people's voices as well which is often hard to do. Another strength of the novel is the people that they chose. The authors did not pick celebrities or people that were widely known. They chose to write the stories of people who had jobs, lived traditional lifestyles, or priests. This is different than most other novels we read because these stories are ones that readers can relate to and the authors told that story. They did not write about someone who did not have substance to them. That is something I really like about the novel. One weakness that I noticed was how the authors leave some of the stories open. They do not really share what happens to the person that the story is being told about so it leaves the readers wondering what happened. To some people this can be a strength because some people like to leave the mystery there and write their own ending to the story. I like to know the answers to questions and where the people are now, if they are still living.

The story that really struck me was about the Folk Doctor named Tommie Bass. Bass was a doctor that had limited medical training and he did not have a degree, but yet people trusted him to cure them. All they did was study herbs and how they worked on a human being. That just seems odd to me. What if a parent brought their sick child to this "doctor" and their child died because of the way Bass tried to cure them? The people of this town trusted this guy that they did not even know to cure their child. This just strikes me because nowadays some people do not even trust licensed doctors. People want multiple opinions from different doctors to diagnose one disease. This story seems older because of that. It amazes me how society has changed in this way. Back then, people could go without seeing a doctor or getting medicine and they would not be worried about it unless they had an illness for a weeks or months at a time. Today, people freak out when they have a cold, and think that they need to go to the emergency room. He is an inspiration when you think about it because he studied herbs and cured people for a living. He could have diagnosed wrong and made a mistake but he would tell people that it could not hurt for them to try the herbs. He was right, it could help them not hurt them. Bass did this for nothing as well. he genuinely wanted to help people get better, and they did. He did not care about the money, which you do not see nowadays.

1 comment:

  1. I also believe that Isay's choice of people to include in his profiles was a strength. It's refreshing to read about average people instead of celebrities living lives that the average person can only dream about. I liked Tommy Bass' profile as well but my reasoning was because I found it inspiring how he did not to try to hide who he was. He was not ashamed of not having a degree and wasn't in it for any personal gain other than the rewarding feeling of helping people. I think the reason people were't worried about his ways of practicing because they weren't as familiar as to what could go wrong. This was before people had the internet to check credentials and to seek multiple opinions. I also found it interesting that there are common plants around us that could help in the same ways as some of the medicines we spend a fortune on.


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