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Erin Donlon

Prof. Dzielawa
Composition 101
5 February 2014
Checin! "our #a!!a!e
E$eryone has thin!s that they carry with them. %f course& there are physical
items& lie purses& cell phones& or wallets& but there are also hi''en thin!s. (hese hi''en
thin!s coul' be insecurities& an illness& or e$en a hea$y !uilt that wei!hs 'own on you. )n
the article *+hare' ,ei!ht&- by +usanne .ubenstein& .ubenstein tries to impress this i'ea
on her hi!h school En!lish class in correlation with a boo she is ha$in! them rea'& *(he
(hin!s (hey Carrie'&- by (im %/#rien. 0t first& the stu'ents 'on/t realize the similarities
between the sol'iers in the story/s li$es an' their own& but throu!h some self1reflection
they come to the conclusion that e$eryone is carryin! somethin!.
)n the article *+hare' ,ei!ht&- .ubenstein is lea'in! her En!lish class in a
'iscussion about the 'ifferent ba!!a!e that all the stu'ents carry. ,hen ori!inally pose'
the 2uestion& *(ell me about the thin!s you carry&- they list off thin!s they fin' in their
bacpacs an' pocets& such as3 boos& ,almans& 'etention slips& an' e$en an ol'
banana. (hen when ase' if that was all they were carryin! the stu'ents 'el$e a little
'eeper& they starte' to list off the intan!ibles they were carryin!4 all the thin!s that they
carry in their min's an' their hearts. (his list inclu'e' their worries about colle!e an' the
future& their wants for their parent/s acceptance& an' e$en their trueness to themsel$es.
.ubenstein states that then *there is almost a palpable sense of relief in the room- 567.
8ust sayin! some of their wei!hts out lou' helpe' the stu'ents relie$e some of the
pressure of their hi''en ba!!a!e& if e$en for a little while.
+imilarly& in %/#rien/s boo& which is split into in'i$i'ual stories& the i'ea of
ba!!a!e an' wei!ht is often brou!ht up. )n the story *9ow (o (ell 0 (rue ,ar +tory&-
Erin Donlon
Prof. Dzielawa
Composition 101
5 February 2014
one of the sol'iers& .at :iley& is more hea$ily feature'. 9e was a ;o$ial youn! man who
spent most of his time !oofin! off with his frien' Curt <emon an' rea'in! the comic
boos he *humpe'- aroun' with him. 9e 'i'n/t really let the horrors of the war !oin! on
aroun' him effect him& that is& until <emon 'ie'. %ne of the bi!!est intan!ible wei!hts
that :iley carrie' with him was the an!er an' sa'ness o$er his frien'/s 'eath an' it
chan!e' him from a cheerful youth to a har'ene' man in an instant.
,hat these two pieces of writin! show& is that e$eryone has ba!!a!e an'
e$eryone carries wei!ht with them e$erywhere they !o. ,hether it/s somethin! as small
as a yo1yo or somethin! as earth shatterin! as the memory of your best frien'/s 'eath&
e$ery wei!ht matters.
Palpable3 %b$ious or noticeable
=Palpable.= Merriam Webster. >erriam1,ebster& n.'. ,eb. 5 Feb 2014.
.ubenstein& +usanne. =+hare' ,ei!ht3 (im %B#rienBs B(he (hin!s (hey Carrie'B=.= (rans.
0rray Short Stories in the Classroom. Crbana& )<3 1DDD. 51D. Print.
%B#rien& (im. =9ow (o (ell 0 (rue ,ar +tory.= (rans. 0rray The Postmodern American
Fiction: A Norton Anthology . Eew "or3 ,.,. Eorton& 1DD6. 1F4116G. Print.