Nineteen Minutes- Jodi Picoult
ENTRY 1-Bullying Throughout Nineteen Minutes, the consequence of a child being severely bullied was revealed as well as the many events that led up to the aftermath. Human beings were born with a clear mind about the society and the world ahead of them but it is what others do to them that shapes their actual future. Peter Houghton was once a cheerful young boy who waited as the “yellow bus rose over the crest of the hill” (66) to go to school and meet new friends but that all changed when no one in school except Josie Cormier accepted him. The consistent torture that Peter received from all his fellow classmates tormented him for years without an end so “it was at the hands of his tormentors that Peter learned how to fight back” (188). Peter strongly believed that he is not the only one responsible for the shootings although he held the gun. The quote, “Who struck the match Peter? Peter lifted his face. Who didn’t?” (252), represents how Peter never thought it was all the bullying that led to the horrific result. A normal human being would not start shooting innocent people in a school without having a solid reason and Peter’s is how everyone hated him and made fun of him incessantly.
A parent’s role is to provide help to the child and if that is not existent, a child will feel neglect, which leads to horrific ideas going through their heads. Usually when getting bullied at school there is moral support at home but in Peter’s case, his mother was the main reason as to why he was routinely teased and cannot stand up for himself due to the fact that she continues to embarrass him in public and not acknowledge what Peter thinks is right. Eventually Peter felt so enraged at his mother that he finally understood what it was like to “love someone and hate them at the same time” (154). The sense of neglect and abandonment that Peter got from both his parents did not make the situations at school any better. Without having a safe and happy home to go to, a child will never feel loved and protected like they should be. Also, “you’re going to be someone incredible, Lacy smiled…One day, Peter, everyone’s going to know your name”, (74) shows how Lacy Houghton, Peter’s mother, believed in him too much instead of helping him deal with the occurrences that happened in school. Parents are a big part of a children’s life and a key part to their success and who they become. Kids will move a different direction, sometimes towards something extreme like Peter, when parents stop noticing and caring.
The power of having a best friend by your side brings out the best in you and lets you forget about the negative things in your life. When Josie left Peter for the popular crowd in middle school, it completely devastated him because as of then, he officially had no friends. That was when he suffered a dramatic change from “…wanting to kill someone to wanting to kill yourself” (160). To make matters worse, Josie started to date Matt Roysten, who bullied Peter the most, just for the sake of becoming popular and she told Peter, “When I’m with them…people like me” (160). Josie was what prevented Peter from completely breaking down so without her, everything collapsed on top of another for him. That is one reason it led to him being mentally unstable, pulled out a gun, and started shooting students in nineteen minutes.
ENTRY 2- Identity and Expectations It is difficult for a child to be perfect and themselves when the parent does not show their real side all the time. Alex Cormier, Josie’s mother, has two very different identities, one to use at home and one to use when in the public and facing other citizens. It was hard for Josie to accept Alex when she was outside as Alex said, “What you do reflects on me, and I have a reputation I have to protect.” (151). Alex has been a judge basically Josie’s entire life so Josie watched how Alex faked her identity outside while growing up. This caused a click…