In this scene, Greg finds out that one of the people he used to be friends with has been diagnosed with cancer, and his mom forces him to call her. I am surprised that Greg gave into his mom and is trying to phone Rachel. (He had tried phoning her a few times already but Rachel didn’t want to talk.) Thus creating the main external conflict in this scene. Rachel is not convinced that Greg actually wants to be friends, but Greg thinks of a lie to persuade her. Although he is being dishonest, it just goes to show how far he will go to stay out of trouble with his mom, and that maybe he actually does care about Rachel. Greg is scared to connect to people, this is shown throughout the first third of the book by him saying, “You cannot become too deeply enmeshed in any one group.” [9] and, “The whole point is that you can’t be friends with anyone.” [10] Greg is not a good example of a socially responsible student. He is not, “Building relationships by being part of a group.” or, “Contributing to community and caring for the environment by being a part of a group.” [BC curriculum’s Social Responsibility Competency overview] So far, Greg hasn’t changed. The only thing that changed in his life is Rachel is diagnosed with cancer. This hasn’t affected Greg as a person yet. I wish the author implied that Greg was upset so that we could have seen a new vulnerable side of him. It’s hard for me to relate to Greg so far because we don’t have much in common. First of all if someone told me someone I knew had cancer, I would be crying. Rather than phoning them, I would go see them and I definitely wouldn’t make up a lie just to get them to talk to me. Greg isn’t a role model to me because he doesn’t really do anything with his life. I respect that he is attempting a new friendship with Rachel, but I don’t appreciate how he only talks to her outside of school because in school he doesn’t let himself be seen with anyone.

  1. Melissa,

    A very clear and concise first response to your independent novel!

    Stars:
    – Personal connections show a deep engagement and ability to critique characters within the text. This engagement transitions well into a detailed discussion of social responsibility within your reading. Bravo!
    – Strong inferences about Greg’s wants / fears / conflicts based on textual evidence from the novel.
    – Excellent use of quotations directly from the BC Core Competencies.

    Wishes:
    – How might you use literary terms (internal/external conflict) to clearly identify the type of struggles that Greg is facing in the first third of your reading?
    – Come speak to me briefly for some quick tips on formatting quotations within your writing.

    Great work! I am looking forward to reading your final responses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>