What We Take For Granted Essay Research

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What We Take For Granted Essay, Research Paper People always say it s the little things that we take for granted. Whether it be being able to talk with someone, or hold someone, or even just being able to tell what time of day it is. In Dalton Trumbos novel, Johnny Got His Gun , one really begins to understands what it would be like to have very simple things taken away from them. Joe Bonhame, finds himself tragically injured from the war. Over time he slowly begins to realize all of the things that he has lost. The first thing that he loses is his hearing. He was awake even though he couldn t hear a thing except a telephone that wasn t ringing. He was mighty scared (p9). At first Joe doesn t realize that he has lost his hearing and he is under the impression that there is

actually a phone ringing somewhere, but, it s really only in his mind. But once he realizes that he actually can t hear anything at all, he goes into a state of shock almost. The shock caused his heart to smash against his ribs. He grew prickly all over. His heart was pounding away in his chest but he couldn t hear the pulsing in his ear (p10). He then begins to think about all the things that he will never again get to experience. At first he thinks about all the bad things that he wont have to ever have to deal with hearing again. He never wanted to hear the biting little castanent sound of a machine gun or the high whistle of a .75 coming down fast or the slow thunder as it hit or the whine of an airplane overhead… (p10-11). But as he stops and really starts to think about

what this all means, he then realizes all the little things that he has taken for granted; the things that he wants to hear again. His mother was singing the kitchen. He could hear her singing there and the sound of her voice was the sound of home (p15). Sadly though, Joe could never go home now. As Joe slowly begins to come to terms with losing his hearing he begins to realize that it is not the only thing he has lost. He had no arms and no legs (p60). Joe deals with not being able to hold those that he loves anymore, something that he hadn t really valued when he could actually do it. He also has to deal with not being able to walk either. But, if he only knew what he was to later discover. The hole began at the base of his throat just below where his jaw should be and went

upward in a widening circle. He could feel his skin creeping around the rim of the circle. The hole was getting bigger and bigger. It widened out almost to the base of his ears if he had any then narrowed again. It ended somewhere above the top of what used to be his nose. The whole went too high to have any eyes in it. He was blind (p62). At this point Joe had no idea what to do. He was the nearest thing to a dead man on earth (p117). There was nothing for Joe to do but lie there and think. Joe losing his entire face was also a lot like him losing his fathers fishing rod. When he lost that rod it was like he had lost everything for his father, but yet his father wasn t upset. But he just lay there in bed beside his father with the two of them jack-knifed together in the way they

always slept best and his father s arm around him and he blinked back the tears. He and his father had lost everything. Themselves and the rod (p108). He has lost his father s fishing rod, which meant something to him, and now he had lost his face, which was his way of communicating to the entire world; to everything he knew. He was lonely for one look for one smell for one taste for one word that would bring Shale City and his father and his mother and his sisters back to him (p108). The most important thing that Joe had lost, was not a physical sense, but something much more important. Without it, a person could go crazy, as Joe almost does. The thing that Joe seems to lose in between his concieus and unconcieus states, is time. All that he knew was that on a day in September