Mr. Chris Polley
College World Literature, 2nd hr.
2 February 2015
A Reader’s Reply To The Detainee Who Wore Spectacles
A powerful narrative short story with a great message is what you will take out of when you read “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” by Bessie Head. To be honest when I was first read the story I was not interested. The only reason I actually read the story was because I was afraid
Mr. Chris would give us a surprise pop quiz come next hour. However, when I got a reading partner the story made more sense. You see by reading out loud and having another person decipher each line one by one made everything understandable because now I know the moral context of the story and I became engaged with the piece and the characters in it. The moral context of the story was to present a conflict where mental strength is tested against physical strength, thus showing that mental strength is of high quality and also to show that the world is a better place when we work together.
The text represents a part of me because I feel like I share the same characteristic trait as
Brille. Brille shows traits such as: courage, leadership, and wisdom. Even though Brille is weak due to his physical appearance he makes it up with a strong will. The same thing goes for me as well because I know that I’m not strong, but I like leading others, not being led upon. Having a person look up to you is the best feeling in the world because you know you can’t do anything wrong when someone is seeing your every move. According to the text, “Who dropped the cabbage?” he thundered. Brille stepped out of the line. “ I did he said meekly.” (Head). I was not
expecting Brille to take the blame of the fallen cabbage; Brille was still stubborn and talked back to the warder when he said that he was the one who did it and that the whole span one should not be punished. This goes to show that Brille is wise and that he puts others lives before his own.
His courage and loyalty represents me now and so on in the future.
The text’s message matches with the outlook of my life and even the world because the text appreciates differences. What I mean when I say differences is that both the prisoner and the prison guard are similar in a way even though one's social status is higher than the other.
According to the text, “Brille catches Hannetjie stealing a fertilizer and uses this to his advantage” ( Head). Hannetjie gave him tobacco to shut him up because he was in fear that the authorities will find out. Disgusted with the evil deed Brille says, “You know, comrades I’ve got
Hannetjie and I’ll betray him tomorrow”(Head). Brille is going to confess to the higher authorities if he doesn’t get the respect he deserves from the warder. In an act of desperation
Hannetjie pleads for him to not give his secret away and that he will give Brille more tobacco, but tobacco isn’t what Brille wants. Brille wants a good warder that will lead him and the rest of span one in the long stretch ahead. So in the end both parties made a bargain and were satisfied because the prisoners were given privileges, and in return they become hard workers and stole fertilizer for Hannetjie. This makes Brille an effective leader that I have a kindred spirit with because he could have snitched on the warder and could have gotten a special reward for that. I would assume that the award would maybe be him being a free man, but instead he made a deal with the warder that would not not only benefit him, but to the other span one as well. He cared about others just as much as he cared about himself which makes me