Summer Reading Essay Example
“There is no conflict in the world that cannot be solved.” British Diplomat Jonathan Powell once said. Not just in the real world but conflict effects characters in novels too. In the book, Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson, she produced a deadly disease running through Philadelphia. Whereas in Counting by 7’s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, she creates a bright setting until a deadly car accident. It is clear conflict runs through both of these novels. Characters Mattie, Dell Duke, and Willow all show change due to loss, and difficult times.
During the course of Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Matilda (Mattie) Cook takes the easy way for everything but later learns how that may not be best. At the beginning of the book, Mattie is careless and doesn’t think before she acts. For example, “I lept from my bed, and thunk! -cracked my head on the sloped ceiling.” (2) Mattie wasn’t thinking, forgot how close the ceiling was, and hit her head hard. In the middle of the book, conflict begins to cause many problems.
For instance, Ms. Cook gets the fever, and Mattie and her mom get separated because “No town will let her in,” (73) Since they were apart for so long, it put a big impact on Mattie’s life, teaching her not to take anything for granted. She then becomes more thoughtful and helpful toward her family and others. “The water finally boiled. I made coffee for myself, a mug for Eliza, and one for Mother.” (242) Although Mattie was carefree at the start, once conflict broke out, she learned to care not just for herself and to be more thoughtful. That is just one example of how conflict can change characters for the better.
Over the course of Counting by 7’s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, therapist Dell Duke is living like a slob but is able to get a hold of his life once Willow enters the picture. Towards the beginning of the novel, Dell is lazy and unhealthy. Rather than a bed, he prefers a sleeping bag. His apartment was filthy, resulting in clutter and garbage to litter the rooms. “Dell would have turned on the TV… he would’ve fallen asleep, usually with his mouth open.” (84) He was then usually too lazy to get up and go to bed, so he would sleep in his clothes on his chair all night. Once Willow’s parents die in a car accident, Dell feels obligated to care for her but has never had to care for a child before. For instance, “... but suddenly the weight of what had happened, the enormity of the situation, hit him hard.” (122).
He suddenly feels bad for Willow and realizes how difficult her life must really be. Once he realizes what is truly going on, he feels caring and gets his life back together. He didn’t want to care for Willow because “... it was a lot easier to do his job and not care about anything. And now he cared about everything.” (181) That’s proving that Dell always cared about Willow in his heart, even if his brain didn’t want him to. Although Dell’s life was once a mess, after conflict-hit, he got his life and feelings together and became a better man.
Willow, from Counting by 7’s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, started off friendless, but when tragedy struck, she had to find someone to take care of her. Previous to conflict, Willow was anti-social and liked to stick to her own activities. For instance, “I was hoping that Sequoia Middle School would open up new adventures for friendship. It hasn’t worked out that way.” (23) Willow does her own thing, but she doesn’t need anyone besides her parents.
But once they both die in a deadly car accident, Willow needs to find more friends, and she does. And she gets so close with her new friend Mai, she wants to move in with her, rather than go with The Child Services. They’re still trying to take her and say, “We will find the right place for you. That’s our mission.” They do not really listen to Willow and want to put her up for adoption, but Willow doesn’t want to go with them. Willow ends up staying with Mai and her family, but she becomes more open to change and can take whatever life throws at her. For instance, “I’ll be ready. I’m not sure for what exactly. But maybe that’s what being ready really means.” (314) Even though Willow was rigid and wasn’t open-minded, she comes around and realizes that being accepting is the best option.
Despite going through difficult and hard times, Dell Duke, Mattie Cook, and Willow Chance all show change. They are all dynamic characters who face conflict, resulting in them changing them for the better. When a deadly disease comes her way, Mattie shows how strong and mature she really is. Willow realizes how much love and friendship really mean, and Dell turns his life around starting with one genius girl. Harriet Tubman fought through conflict just like all of these characters. When people wanted slaves, she fought back and started the Underground railroad to free many innocent staves including herself. She got out of conflict, and it also changed her for the better.