Original 1:

To describe true victim narratives, victim narratives that were perceived as victim that accurately fit the blaming mechanism, several Rising Cairn database examples were examined for key victim moments. In Evan Dodge’s literacy narrative, The Rollercoaster, he obviously blames any external force that he can find for his disinterest in literacy. In the beginning, he blames his brother for ignoring his reading aloud of a book. “When it came down to the day, [his] little brother didn’t pay attention to [his] reading so [Dodge] stopped halfway through and didn’t finish the book… It really negatively affected [him] for reasons [Dodge] cannot explain” (Dodge 1). Later on, he blames a high school English teacher that he calls Frank. Dodge believes that his disinterest and decrease and academic achievement stems from when Frank said that he would turn into a Ditch Digger and amount to nothing (Frank probably just thinks he’s funny). Dodge “was hurt. [Frank] took it too far. [Dodge] then lost a lot confidence in my academics as a whole” (Dodge 3). In both cases, it is clear that the writer does not take responsibility and blames other people entirely for his feelings toward literacy. Alexander would classify the narrative as a containing a victim little narrative, as did a member of my English class, and I would agree. This would make the writing a true victim little narrative, as the common perception of the class matches the overall definition of the narrative.

In a similar literacy narrative written by Alexis Criss, another tale of a destructive sponsor, Burdo’s Lesson describes how the sponsorship was destructive but helpful in the end. Criss describes a teacher named Mrs. Burdo, a tough English teacher, and how Criss felt that she deserved better. Criss “feel[s] as though [Mrs. Burdo] should’ve just told [the students what to do] if she wanted [the students] to truly do well in her class” (Criss 3). Although Criss describes the benefits of the sponsorship on her literacy ability later in the paper, she still projects her blame outwards to the actions of her English teacher. Criss takes on the victim role by suggesting how the teacher could have done better, and how the teacher was obviously in the wrong for her non-perfect grades. Criss felt like her learning standards made it harder for [her] to learn because [Mrs. Burdo] was so frank about what she critiqued” (Criss 3). Criss and Dodge both display true victim narratives, fitting the description of Alexander, with the agreement of the general perception (the class data). However, Criss uses the negative experience to improve, indicating that there is still variety within the general victim category.

Revised 1:

Several catalogued literacy narratives from the Rising Cairn database were examined to examine how accurately the fit the description provided by Alexander and Williams. In narratives such as Evan Dodge’s literacy narrative, The Rollercoaster, or  Alexis Criss in her narrative title Burdo’s Lesson, the narrators find outside sources to project their blame. Dodge blames a high school English teacher that he calls Frank. Dodge believes that his disinterest and decrease and academic achievement stems from when Frank said that he would turn into a Ditch Digger and amount to nothing. Dodge “was hurt. [Frank] took it too far. [Dodge] then lost a lot confidence in my academics as a whole” (Dodge 3). In Criss’ narrative, she describes the similar destructive sponsor experience, in which she felt like her learning standards made it harder for [her] to learn because [Mrs. Burdo] was so frank about what she critiqued” (Criss 3). Criss felt as if the teacher’s high standards were the cause of her difficulty with the class.

In both cases, it is clear that the writer does not take responsibility and blames outside forces entirely for negative feelings toward literacy. Alexander would classify the narrative as a containing a victim little narrative, as did the class data, and I would agree. This would make the writing a true victim little narrative, as the common perception of the class matches the overall definition of the narrative. Criss and Dodge both display true victim narratives, fitting the description of Alexander, with the agreement of the general perception (the class data). However, Criss uses the negative experience to improve, indicating that there is still variety within the general victim category.

Original 2:

Due to the frequency of victim narratives, it is easy to be mislead by the story and incorrectly assume the category. When compounding data, it is important to be accurate, and so these false narratives are an issue. In the narrative by Daria Letcher, Education, she describes the pressure built up from her family history being denied education. Letcher vaguely loses interests in books, but never blames it on the reading or writing involved in her education. Instead, she blames it on herself and her feelings of inadequacy. “This is when [Letcher] started to not like writing because nothing was ever good enough and [she] felt like if [she] could not please her [mother] then [she] definitely could not please [her] teachers” (Letcher 2). Letcher feels like a disappointment, but never places the blame for her feelings of inadequacy on anyone else. Even when her teacher says that she should give up, Letcher does not cast any external blame. The teacher “said “You are not good at writing and shouldn’t even try anymore.” At that moment [Letcher] truly believed that [she] wasn’t good at it and went home to tell [her] mom” (Letcher 3). Despite Letcher also having a destructive sponsorship moment, she internalizes the blame and chooses to view the problem as being a part of her own abilities. This would contradict the definition of Alexander that I agree with, yet the class data shows that the average person perceives the narrative as a victim narrative. In that sense, I would label the narrative as a false victim narrative, as it deceived someone into believing it was a victim narrative.

Revised 2:

Due to the frequency of victim narratives, it is easy to be mislead by the story and incorrectly assume the category. When compounding data, it is important to be accurate, and so these false narratives are an issue. In the narrative by Daria Letcher, Education, she describes the pressure built up from her family history being denied education. Letcher vaguely loses interests in books, but never blames it on the reading or writing involved in her education. Instead, she blames it on herself and her feelings of inadequacy, never placing the blame for her feelings of inadequacy on anyone else. Even when her teacher says that she should give up, Letcher does not cast any external blame. The teacher “said “You are not good at writing and shouldn’t even try anymore.” At that moment [Letcher] truly believed that [she] wasn’t good at it and went home to tell [her] mom” (Letcher 3). Despite Letcher also having a destructive sponsorship moment, she internalizes the blame and chooses to view the problem as being a part of her own abilities. This would contradict the definition of Alexander that I agree with, yet the class data shows that the average person perceives the narrative as a victim narrative. In that sense, I would label the narrative as a false victim narrative, as it deceived someone into believing it was a victim narrative.

Clearly, however, there is much miscommunication about the application of victim narratives. Even Williams examples that do not solely apply to victim narratives. According to Williams, victims “often [write] about themselves as being invisible or used metaphors about being unclean or outcast from the world of literacy” (344). This is not necessarily a victim, as an outcast does not always externalize blame. Perhaps Alexander and William’s definitions of victim narratives must be broken down and categorized to prevent future misidentification.

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