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Life is a Complicated Story : An Analysis of two memoirs

Life is a Complicated Story
By Deddy Trisaoputra Latip

Deddy

* a 5th semester student

Memoir is a kind of unique nonfiction text. It tells about someone`s life story especially focus on some specific events and moments. It is different from autobiography which is usually told by other person, memoir is usually told by the author themselves. Many people and authors write memoir in order to express and tell the readers about their lives in specific moments. “Growing Up” and “Life will never be the same without you” are two examples of memoir which people can easily find and read from many sources in the internet. Both of these memoirs tell about the author`s life experience in the past with in a good way. These memoirs have their own characteristics and uniqueness. While both of these memoirs are worth reading, they have differences and similarities.

Photograph of Russel Baker, from : http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898670_1898671_1898650,00.html
Photograph of Russel Baker, from : http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898670_1898671_1898650,00.html

“Growing Up” is one of the most famous memoirs in the 20th century written by Russell Baker. The storyline in this memoir is quite deep as it tells about Baker`s childhood in Virginia and how his life with his mother struggled during Great Depression period in the United States which made Russell sell the newspaper. “For several hours I made myself highly visible, shifting position now and then from corner to corner, from shop window to shop window, to make sure everyone could see the heavy black lettering on the canvas bag that said THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.”

His mother had a vital role in shaping Baker`s personality as he grew up. Then in Growing Up memoir, the author uses more modern sentences and also there are so many dialogues in the story between the characters which are involved because this memoir is written in 1982. This style makes the story more communicative as it is mentioned also in the story by Baker (1982):

How many did you sell, Buddy? my mother asked.
None
Where did you go?
The corner of Belleville and Union Avenues
What did you do?
Stood on the corner waiting for somebody to buy a Saturday Evening Post
You just stood there?
Didn’t sell a single one

On the other hand, “Life will never be the same without you” has its own characteristics. This is a memoir of 21st century made by Katy Mackenzie. The storyline in this memoir only concentrate in the event when the author tells the story about her life without her mother who has died recently because of cancer as. The author tells how she knew her life will change after her mother died and how desperate she was when she could not say goodbye for the last time as it is mentioned in the story by Mackenzie (2013), “I had not seen her for at least three weeks before she died and that is what hurt me the most.” She is also so frustrated because she loves her mother so much. Then the style of writing that the author uses is quite modern as this memoir is written in 2013. The author tells the story in way where she explains directly her story without any other people talking in the story.

Tickets: would life need some?
Tickets: would life need some?

Both of the memoirs are different and the same in some ways as they have their own characteristics. “Growing Up” storyline is much deeper and tells about the author`s childhood and how a figure of mother has an important role and position in a child`s life. The same as the first memoir, “Life Will Never Be The Same Without You” also has a storyline which is deep enough and tells about the author`s life experience because Mackenzie (2013) states that her problem is when she lost her mother whom she loves very much. These memoirs have a difference in the way the author delivers their story. In “Growing Up”, the authors use some dialogues between some people which make the story is more communicative. On the other hand, “Life Will Never Be The Same Without You” does not use dialogues because it uses monologues only. In conclusion, life always has a condition where people feel happy and sad. In people life, there are some moments where they must struggle physically and mentally because of the problems which come anytime. People must fight and undergo all of their life whatever happens. Then mother always has a very important role in someone`s life and a figure of mother will never can be change by anyone. Someone usually feels sad and realized how his or her mother`s love when there is no chance again for him or her to meet the mother. That is why, as the son or daughter, he or she must sacrifice and do the best for their mother as long as he or she still have enough time to make his or her mother happy.

Sources :
http://sharepoint.leon.k12.fl.us/pmon/dacim/Assessment/Reading/
grade10/G10_Cluster_2_FC.pdf
http://www.booksie.com/memoir/short_story/katymackenzie1998/life-will-
never-be- the-same-without-you


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