"Acts of Violence" A Personal Response to Literature

Essay by nworb_leinadA+, November 2006

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The short story, "Acts of Violence" by Ursula Hegi is essentially about an old woman who takes self-defense classes due to a rekindled epiphany of erstwhile experiences. The son of the mother and also the author narrates in first person, which aids the reader in comprehending his personal thoughts and emotions towards his mother's decision. Not only does the author worry about his mother but so does his wife as well. Throughout the story they seek to ascertain why she is zealous towards such a hazardous class, or so they presume.

In the beginning of the story, I felt as if though the mother was illogically paranoid and I empathized with the author's anxiety towards her. The author elaborated on the fact of how he and his wife would fret about how irenic she used to be and how she use to converse about other subjects other than the self-defense class.

"Now all she talks about is that class." Though as I read along I realized there was a legitimate reason as to why she was so concerned about her protection.

The author cerebrated to himself about an article in the newspaper of how more and more acts of violence were augmenting the city's crime rate. Then he proceeded to reminisce about how nonviolent his mother used to be. He exclaimed to the reader "When I was a boy, my mother used to cut any pictures that had to do with violence from the paper. Until I was six, I thought newspapers came that way - holes surrounded by words." This is when I began to learn more about the mother's character and inquired the reasons for her eccentric actions.

Towards the end of the story the mother tells her son, (the author) "I have been beaten, brutally. Many...