The brief story “Sawdust,” written by “Chris Offut,” provides the reader an insider’s view into the lifetime of a backwoods Appalachian household. Written within the first individual, the speaker, Junior, doles out bits and items of his early childhood rising up together with his brother, Warren, and his mom and father. Genuine hill-speak provides the reader the sense of being there because the grownup Junior takes up the search for a GED.
In response to Junior, nobody on his hillside has ever completed highschool. And in his personal phrases, he, “do not hunt, fish, or work.” However getting a GED turns into one thing that nags at him regardless that it causes strife inside his household and generates a substantial quantity of gossip amongst his neighbors. His mom accuses him of getting above his elevating whereas his brother shows some mood on the concept and ultimately stops chatting with him for a time. Even his neighbors get into the act and Junior finds himself pressured to defend his now deceased father and his personal fame.
Regardless of his personal doubts and the emotions of his household and neighbors, getting his GED turns into Juniors private Holy Grail. In the long run he works up his braveness to take the GED check however this generates one other drawback, how one can pay the fifteen greenback payment required by the state. Even that takes a backseat to the selection of returning for the check end result versus by no means figuring out. Junior exhibits the reader than even private fears might be overcome if one is cussed sufficient.
Receiving his GED certificates is Junior’s ultimate private accomplishment on this story. When the reader leaves him he’s looking a creek financial institution for pop bottles as a result of he nonetheless owes the state fifteen dollars.
Whereas I discovered this story to be fairly amusing, it struck a not so nice twine inside me. As somebody born within the hills of Appalachia, I can truthfully say that I’ve by no means encountered anybody fairly like Junior or his kinfolk. Mr. Offut has taken sure traits and blown them means out of proportion and maybe that was his intention, however then once more, maybe not. He commented in an interview with “Ace Weekly” that he needed to put in writing a ebook about “us” as an alternative of “them.” I feel he failed miserably.
Nonetheless, you might discover “Kentucky Straight” amusing. I need to confess I ended studying after “Sawdust,” as a result of typically having your tradition become a joke for the amusement of others merely is not nice. Particularly when carried out by one among your personal.