Thursday, November 18, 2010

Push


This book starts in 1987 New York with a 16 year old girl named Claireece "Precious" Jones. She grows up with an abusive mother and suffers from visits from an abusive father. She is basically illiterate and is pregnant with her second baby by her father. Her mother refuses to work and counts on the monthly welfare check to barely provide for Precious. In return for the basics she provides, she expects her daughter to cook and clean and basically wait on her hand and foot. Her only escape is at school, where she is eventually expelled for becoming pregnant once again. Her guidance counselor convinces her to go to an alternative school, called Each One Teach One, where she meets an array of misfits just like herself. The teacher, Blue Rain, has an amazing way with each and every one of the students, and they learn the basic english and vocabulary skills that public school had failed them on. They write in journals daily to build their skills, and through this we see a little bit into their lives. While at the school, her mother continues to abuse her and takes living almost unbearable. She eventually goes into labor at school and comes home to face her mother. Unfortunately, welfare had found out that her first born baby was living with her grandmother, so her mother ends up getting less money. This leads to a confrontation when she gets home from hospital. After escaping her mothers wrath, Precious recieves help from Blue, and gets into a halfway house for abused women with children. She continues her education until her mother drops in for a visit. She tells Precious that her father had died of AIDs, and with having had unprotected sex with him resulting in two babies, Precious is at risk for being HIV positive. Amazingly, the mother is negative. Now Precious must go to the doctor to get tested, and learns that she is positive, but her newborn son is not. Now, instead of her world crashing down on her, Precious somehow finds the energy to attend an incest support group and counseling for her diagnosis. She learns and grows from the friendships she gains. Unfortunately, the book ends with no specific information to the outcome of her story.


1 Do you think that Precious would have been able to overcome her socio-economic background and abuse to find peace in her life? Or do you think that the obstacles are too great to overcome?


2 If you were in the same situation, what would you do to cope? Or would you even be able to at all?

19 comments:

Hannah L 13-14 said...

To answer your first question I think that because she attends a support group and gets counseling she would be able to find some sort of peace in her life. I don't know if it would be a complete peace but I do believe that she would be more content and able to live a better life because of the help she's getting as opposed to how her life would be if she did not get help. I think for anyone these obstacles would be difficult to get through but with the right kind of support and help I think that some would be able to get through it.

In response to your second question..I have no idea what I would do to cope or if I would even be able to. For me this scenario seems like too much to bear and I think I would probably just give up in the end. I think it takes a very strong person to overcome these kinds of things and a lot of work and perseverance too.

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

1. I think that she might be able to overcome her issues because after all she has been through already, she has gotten help with those problems and perserved, so I think that she could be able to continue to overcome her problems.

Deanna K 5-6 said...

No, I do not believe that Precious would have been able to overcome her issues and find peace. As a single mother of two she would struggle to make ends meat as it is. In addition to being a single mother, she has many other problems dealing with abuse to the HIV infection which would cause much turmoil in her life. Although she seems like a very strong character to come so far, I believe that these obstacles are too great to overcome and be at peace with her life.

If i were in the same situation, I would have no idea how to cope. Putting myself in her shoes, I don't know what issue i would deal with first just due to the multitude of issues themselves. Some issues are too problematic to even find a solution at all. I feel as if i would try everyday to cope and deal with these issues, but continually fail because of the situation they put me in.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

2. I don't think I'd be able to cope being in Precious's shoes. I count on my family for so many things and without them, I don't think I would be able to overcome much. I know my family is always there where as friends come and go.

allie s 11-12 said...

i think anyone can try to overcome these problems, but sometimes its way too hard. But with support and a want for change anything can be possible. But in Precious's life it would be more difficult to reach peace because of her many problems, but it could be possible.

I'm not sure if i could cope, but i would try. All one can do sometimes do is hope and try, i mean if i was in this situation i would have a baby which means I'm not living just for me, I'm also living for a child so i would try even more. Happiness can be achieved with lots of effort but I'm not sure how i would handle this situation. :)

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

1) i don't think she would necessarily find peace, but i believe she'd make it through because she's such strong individual, and i think she'd stay strong for her children.
2) i have no idea how i would even begin to try to cope. that's such an extreme situation, most people would never be in anything close to that. i guess i would try to find some source of happiness, even if it'd be a small one. but i doubt that'd be enough.

Kristen T. 11-12 said...

To answer question 1, I would guess that Precious would be able to overcome the difficult circumstances in her life. It seems that she has been through so much already, and she seems to be a strong person for being able to deal with her mother, father, and her children while putting forth the effort to go to school and further her education. By this point in her life it seems that she is strong enough to overcome whatever obstacles she may face in the future.

David G. 13-14 said...

I don't think that Precious's obstacles are too great to overcome. In my opinion, she has overcome all the negativity in her life. I think that there are a lot of roads she could have taken to escape her terrible life but instead she takes the initiative to further her education and care for her kids.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

I think Precious could overcome her many obstacles. I believe she already has overcome many things, and she has became a very strong person, which can give her the confidence to keep pushing through. She tries to be the best she can and tries to provide the best she can for her kids.

Betsy C 1314 said...

I agree with Kelsey and Hannah, in that with the proper support she is offered, she can possibly overcome these obstacles. However, with the number of things that she has gone through stacked up against her, i do not think that that a peace can be completely reached. Even if everything goes right from now on, she still wont have family, money, and health.

Betsy C 1314 said...

I also feel that i would not be able to cope with it the way she does. I would be tired of being knocked down and probably just quit instead of trying to improve my life. I admire the strength that she finds within herself.

LibbyS5/6 said...

To answer the second question I agree that I would probably crumble under the pressure of a life like hers. I have so many opportunies and so much to be thankful for that I wouldn't even know how to start to overcome the obstacles that she faced.

Amanda Z. 11-12 said...

1) I think she could, with some work, be able to overcome her issues and abuse because she attends the support group and has a supporter in Blue. However, without that support system she could have easily gotten sucked into even more bad situations and not made it out.
2) I have no idea what I would do or if I could deal with it at all. Not having family around that I could count on would be completely discouraging. I kind of doubt I could have made it through.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question one, I do believe she could overcome the obstacles. It is nearly an impossible task but it has been done before in history.

For two, it would be tough to decide how to cope. Being in a different environment I do not have the same oppurtunities to find a better place.

Erika B 13-14 said...

I believe Precious may be able to restore a sense of peace and serenity in her life. This search for peace would definitely take a lot of time, and doing this alone would be nearly impossible. She would need a friend for comfort when she is feeling down. It seems like Blue has become her friend though, so I believe if Precious had Blue as her support system, she would be able to get her life back on track.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

For the 2nd question I really don't think I would be able to go through all that. You have to be a really strong person to be brought down so many times and still fight through it, knowing how bad you have it. I agree with Libby, it definitely makes me appreciate everything I have.

Emily C. 13-14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sydney C.13-14 said...

To answer the first question, yes I do believe that Precious will be able to overcome the horrendous obstacles in her life. I believe through the pain she was fortunate enough to find people out there willing to help her to grow stronger. The alternative school with teacher Blue Rain, and the opportunity at the halfway house came to Precious at the right times in her life. It is unfortunate that some people never do find help and are unable to cope with their misfortunes, ultimately falling victims to substance abuse or suicide.

So would I be able to cope? I would have to say that I really do not know. I can't imagine a life where my loving parents could disrespect me in such a terrible way. However, I am usually a resourceful person and in this day and age contrastingly with 1987, there are many support groups and methods of recovery out there to be utilized. I would attempt to work with the resources around me and come out stronger in the end.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed