Rock Bottom Responses





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  1. Why the protagonist appears to be scornful as he walks through the city and first encounters the indigenous man splayed on the sidewalk

According to the writer, the protagonist shows that he is accustomed to the ways of Vancouver, in that, the streets were filled mostly with beggars. Having lived in the streets of Vancouver, he knew that beggars ere a custom and being homeless was the norm for almost every big city. As the writer was walking, He saw a first world Nation man at the side of a liquor store, and he was filled with embarrassment. This was majorly because he saw how he was advocating for stereotypes against the people of the First Nations. The idea behind it was that people would see the man, helplessly unable provide for himself but at the same time asking for money to finance liquor. Most countries have shown signs of racial stereotypes especially after being engraved with the first sight of a First Nation man begging in the streets next to a liquor store.

  1. The story was reversed in chronological order. Why is this an effective way of telling the story?

The reversed chronological order was able to bring out the effect of a heightened plot. The effect helps in ensuring that there is an unexpected occurrence that is yet to occur. The idea behind it helps in ensuring that the reader is eager to know the end result and find out more about what is happening. Considering the writer wanted to give mystery to the story, the style of writing could be considered effective. Ideally, it helps in giving the reader the ability to think on why things are happening the way they are.  Reverse chronology tries to illustrate why things are happening the way they are. This shows especially why the reader should continue reading to find out the magnitude and effect of the foretold illustration.

  1. The protagonist’s epiphany, what you believe his epiphany is and why the author would want to express the particular expectation.

The protagonist was able to realize that he needed to help the man because they were once in the same predicament. At the time he tried to ignore the man, he was able to see his father through him, and realized that they had gone through the same in life. During this time, he was able to see the life that the man was robbed off. The empathy that came along with it helped in emphasizing the effect of the epiphany on the man. Throughout generations, Vancouver has exhibited signs of beggars, and this has passed down through generations with most of them being affected especially in their residential schools.

The realization was giving him the idea that they shared a common past with the father, and he believed that there was a point in his life when he was happy, contrary to what he is experiencing at the moment. The writer expressed this to show how he was able to succeed and was not able to reach the level of suffering his father experienced. This was a sign of hope, that the man lying down there could father a generation of great people, just like how his father raised him to be a better man, contrary to how he was.

  1. How does the story challenge people to think about how and when they practice empathy?

The story begins with men begging in the streets of Vancouver. However, the writer did not show any sign of empathy on them, instead he walked past them with a scornful look. This was because the men stood by the liquor store and begged. This brought out stereotypes against first Nations. The writer was not able to empathize on this because it just showed the incapability of a man being able to toil to vend for his needs, instead prioritizes the idea of liquor before finding means to vend for himself. After seeing the man that was helplessly on the ground, he was filled with empathy. He helped the man out by taking him to the hospital. The second man displayed a sign of need, and to him he believed that the man had just hit rock bottom, like his father had, once upon a time and just needed a little boost to gain himself back.

The story poses a challenge to individuals on how to handle themselves when it comes to empathy. According to the story, the man was only empathetic to the person that was in great need rather than the one that stood outside of a liquor store. People should be able to tell apart a situation that needs empathy from a situation that does not. The protagonists were able to analyze this from a point of being in the same position back when he was a young man. The man demonstrated signs of being able to gather himself back again, compared to those that were on the liquor stores. He believed that at one point, the man was happy, and he would probably be able to go back to his state of living once he figures himself out. The ones that he met first did not show any sign of redemption.

The story urges us to make better judgement on the friends we choose, as well as those that pose to be in need, when in actuality they are not. People constantly struggle with discernment but knowing who you are as a person and the thigs you are able to do to help save someone’s life is important. Through his empathy, he was able to feel great satisfaction considering that he had helped someone that was struggling with the same issue as his father back then when he was younger. Empathy drives people to decisions that might make or break them. The protagonist demonstrated his empathy by calling an ambulance for the man.


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