E03-Critical Reading-Saints72

Caleb has been home since 2006, way more than enough time for Brannan to catch his symptoms.

Caleb has been home from Iraq since 2006.

McClelland has implied that since Caleb’s homecoming in 2006 there was enough time allotted for Brannan to catch Caleb’s PTSD symptoms.

This statement further implies that Caleb does have PTSD and the symptoms are in fact contagious.

The house, in a subdivision a little removed from one of many shopping centers in a small town in the southwest corner of Alabama, is often quiet as a morgue. ou can hear the cat padding around. The air conditioner whooshes, a clock ticks.

The family’s house is in a little quiet neighborhood in the southwest corner of Alabama

The family’s house is is so quiet sometimes, it is like a morgue.

Due to the PTSD there can not be any random or loud noises or it will send Caleb into a fit.

The house is so quiet you can hear the small cat walking around the house, air condition pushing cold air throughout the house, and the ticking of a clock.

When a sound erupts—Caleb screaming at Brannan because she’s just woken him up from a nightmare, after making sure she’s at least an arm’s length away in case he wakes up swinging—the ensuing silence seems even denser.

The only abrupt sounds in the house is Caleb’s random screams.

Usually Caleb is screaming at Brannan for waking him up from a nightmare.

Brannan accidentally wakes Caleb up after checking if he is at least a arm’s length away so she doesn’t get hit when Caleb wakes up swinging.

Even when everyone’s in the family room watching TV, it’s only connected to Netflix and not to cable, since news is often a trigger.

Watching TV is supposed to be a calm family activity, with Caleb and Brannan.

They can only watch television on Netflix, a program with prerecorded shows and movies without the availability of the interruption of breaking news.

Breaking news is often dealing with some aspect of war, or comes along with surprising noises. These such things can send both Caleb and Brannon into a fit.

Their German shepherd, a service dog trained to help veterans with PTSD, is ready to alert Caleb to triggers by barking, or to calm him by jumping onto his chest.

Caleb and Brannon own a German Shepard.

The dog is a service dog trained to help veterans with PTSD.

Part of it’s traing os to alert Caleb to supposed triggers by barking.

The service dog can also calm Caleb down by jumping onto his chest.

This PTSD picture is worse than some, but much better, Brannan knows, than those that have devolved into drug addiction and rehab stints and relapses. She has not, unlike military wives she advises, ever been beat up. Nor jumped out of her own bed when she got touched in the middle of the night for fear of being raped, again.

Looking at the household from the outside it looks bad.

There are some cases of PTSD that are worse, and some cases of PTSD that aren’t as bad.

Some cases of PTSD has led to drug addiction, luckily for her and Caleb this is not the road they are traveling.

Brannon advises a group of military wives.

These wives are also dealing with their husband’s PTSD.

These wives have been beat or raped, luckily for Brannon, she has not been beat or raped.

Still.

Just one word implies that Brannon is not troubled by the worst symptoms of PTSD. On the other hand, she is still dealing with symptoms that make her life very hard.

“Sometimes I can’t do the laundry,” Brannan explains, reclining on her couch. “And it’s not like, ‘Oh, I’m too tired to do the laundry,’ it’s like, ‘Um, I don’t understand how to turn the washing machine on.’ I am looking at a washing machine and a pile of laundry and my brain is literally overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to reconcile them.”

Brannon suffers from her symptoms so badly daily duties such as doing laundry becomes a whole ordeal. Her mind is so cluttered and busy she sometimes can not figure how to turn the washing machine on.

She sounds like she might start crying, not because she is, but because that’s how she always sounds, like she’s talking from the top of a clenched throat, tonally shaky and thin. 

Whenever Brannon tries to talk she sounds like she is about to start crying.

Her voice sounds like she has a clenched throat with a shaken tone.

She looks relaxed for the moment, though, the sun shining through the windows onto her face in this lovely leafy suburb.We raise the blinds in the afternoons, but only if we are alone. When we hear Caleb pulling back in the driveway, we jump up and grab their strings, plunging the living room back into its usual necessary darkness.

Sitting in the living room Brannon is relaxing and has the sun beaming through the windows.

She can only sit and relax like this if Caleb is not home.

When Brannon hears Caleb pulling into the driveway she must jump up, pull the blinds down and make sure the living room is back to the darkness that Caleb needs.

 

 

 

One thought on “E03-Critical Reading-Saints72”

  1. This falls just short of brilliant, Saints, and you’re more than welcome to take another look at it for revision after comparing it to your classmates’ if you like. It could easily be improved to be among the best, based on the quality of your observations so far.

    Just a suggestion or two on a paragraph that deserves more analysis than you had time for.

    She looks relaxed for the moment, though, the sun shining through the windows onto her face in this lovely leafy suburb. We raise the blinds in the afternoons, but only if we are alone. When we hear Caleb pulling back in the driveway, we jump up and grab their strings, plunging the living room back into its usual necessary darkness.

    —”She looks relaxed for the moment” suggests that she isn’t actually relaxed, maybe can never be truly relaxed.
    —”lovely leafy suburb” These families suffering from PTSD aren’t living in squalor. The anguish inside their homes contradicts the pleasant surroundings they live in.
    —”we raise the blinds if we are alone” means the author has spent SO much time with this family that she and Brannan have established routines.
    —”Caleb pulling back in the driveway” means that although he’s been portrayed as an emotional cripple confined to his dark bedroom in pain, Caleb drives himself around on errands.

    In other words, before you move along to the next paragraph, there are gems to mine. A strong first draft with promise.
    Grade

    Like

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