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Essay/Term paper: On my honor

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Cliff Notes

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Marion Dane Bauer, On My Honor. Clarion, 1986. 90pp.

Marion Bauer certainly followed in the tradition of great novels. On My Honor is set in the hot summer of a small city. It explores the stress we put on ourselves to express blame and feel guilt when blamed. The biggest heartache is when you blame yourself for things that could not be prevented, or were not your fault. That is what Joel did.

The setting was the Vermillion. Tony called it Old Man River, which is a nickname for the Mississippi. Bauer described the river as " the reddish brown water slithering far beneath the bridge." Bauer also described it as full of sinkholes, current, and whirlpools. It was polluted with chemicals and sewage that were invisible.

The main characters were Joel and Tony. They were born three weeks apart and had been neighbors and friends all their lives. Joel was cautious but still adventurous. He was reliable and trustworthy. He was also a good swimmer. Tony was more of a risk taker. Always up for an adventure without bringing to mind the consequences of his actions. He wasn"t as trustworthy. He proved that by lying to Joel"s father"s face and not admitting to being scared of anything.

Bauer"s main purpose for writing this novel was to show how our fears can get in the way of our responsibilities. Bauer also related to the importance of blame and guilt associated with blame in life. It"s a way to lift responsibility off of our own shoulders and put it on someone else. It"s also a way of coming to terms with tragedy. Bauer showed this when Joel put blame on his dad. She also showed it by the way the father dealt with Joel after Joel hit him and ran off. His father was very supportive. He took the blame to help his son deal with it.

The strengths of this novel were that it had a good plot, an excellent theme, and it demonstrated the family roles. It showed how the father was supportive and understanding. The weaknesses were few but important. I don"t believe that a teenage boy and his girlfriend would just leave a kid to ride into town and notify the police about his friend drowning in the river. I also think that Joel would have drowned when he went looking for Tony at the bottom of the river.

Overall I recommend that you read this novel because it is extremely interesting. It is also fast reading. The novel caused me to question my own morals. It made me think of what I would do in that position. I decided that I would have done the same thing as that scared little boy.


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