The Fighting Temptations In John Wideman's 'Our Time'

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3 Davies The Fighting Temptations Comp 101 Oct. 24th Revision When Times Changed John Wideman’s Our Time speaks of the African American ways of thinking and of the behaviors that have been developed as a result. He chose to truthfully speak on these aspects of life by using his own experiences to speak for those of the same race who have had similar lives. The title alone lets you know that a certain group of people are being spoken for. That group happens to be Blacks. This text is tied around the new ways that African Americans began to make their own way in this world which Wideman refers to as “getting over.” Wideman starts by giving a rundown on these ways and how we turned to these ways because of the “square world”. He explains to…show more content…
One of them is Robby, his brother, who is the center of the story. He begins the story on a somber note as he speaks of Robby slowly losing his close friend Garth. Garth finally died, and his funeral was held. Afterwards, people met at Garth’s people’s house and began drinking and mingling. They then began to speak on the injustice of the hospital that Garth was put into and the anger that they have for the situation. This makes Wideman think closely about what they are saying. He starts to talk about the death of Garth and how it makes no sense. From the info put forth in the text, Garth was not treated correctly for his sickness because of his race. Wideman then goes into a rant about The Man. I can only assume that he is speaking of the “White Man” that most Blacks see as the privileged, racist enemy. He talks about the man and how he keeps what is worth keeping and spits out whatever he doesn’t want for the niggers. We get the worst of everything because he gets the best of everything including hospital care which is why Wideman initially mentioned The Man. Wideman then switches back to Garth and his plans of getting over in the “life.” On page 426, Wideman quotes Garth saying, “If we ever make it, it got to come from there, from the curb. We got to melt that rock till we get us some money.” Garth then grinned. “Ain’t no big thing. We’ll make it, brother man. We got what it takes. It’s our time.” For the reader,…show more content…
He talks about his mother and her anger towards the death of Garth starting on page 430. She then connects the death of Garth with that of the incarceration of her son, Robby, saying that it isn’t fair. Yes, by this time in Wideman’s essay we find out that Robby is serving a life sentence in prison for murder. After the death of Garth, Robby went down a long, dark path and prison is where it landed him. This makes you think back to the slick guy that Wideman mentioned on the first page, the guy who gets praise for being a rebel. Robby became this guy. Robby began to get over in the life, but where does that praise go for the slick guy when he lands in an unfortunate situation. Robby’s mother will of course feel remorse for her son, but I feel as if Wideman incorporates his mother within the text for a bigger purpose. When it is our time, those who take advantage of it will almost always have their plans scrambled. When that slick guy that we admire ends in prison or worse, we feel compassion for his wrong doings. We say that he was just trying to get by, get out of the hood, support his family. We excuse him because he relates to us and our desire for being a rebel or just making it. We wish that he could get from behind those bars or arise from his grave to actually make it for us, us meaning whatever group the slick guy belongs to. We want this because his situation is not

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