Ryan DeVuyst Composition II David Cantwell 15 March 2013 “A Pure, High Note of Anguish” by: Barbara Kingsolver Barbara Kingsolver’s “A Pure, High Note of Anguish,” expresses her painful grief in seeing innocent people die without having done anything to deserve it. To Americans, Kingsolver says “There are no worse days, it seems,” referring that 9/11 is the worst thing that’s ever happened in the world. Kingsolver symbolizes the children dancing in the street as the hatred that other countries have against the United States. Kingsolver believes asking, “Will this happen to me? is the wrong question because almost always people die without having done anything to deserve it. To Kingsolver, people almost always die without having done anything to deserve it. To this I agree. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D. C. , including more than 400 police officers and firefighters (History). As of June 2006, 1577 Louisiana residents had been confirmed as deceased as a result of Katina (Sharkey). Motor vehicle crashes in the United States result in more than 40,000 deaths per year (Hitti). Each year globally, 12. million people learn they have cancer, and 7. 6 million people die from the disease (CDC). As most people would think, every one of these victims are innocent people who do not deserve to die. As seen above, these causes of deaths can be from attacks, natural disasters, accidents, and diseases. Death is something that occurs in nature and it is both inevitable and final (Cole). No one knows when, where or how they will die. The only thing that is certain is no one deserves to die. Kingsolver states “There are no worst days, it seems,” meaning that this is the worst thing that has ever happened in the world.
Maybe it was the worst thing to happen in the world at that time, but for all of history no. On December 26th, 2004, in Southeast Asia an earthquake occurred out at sea in the Indian Ocean, which immediately caused a deadly tsunami to happen. An estimated 230,000 people died (Wikramanayake). Do we Americans believe that is the worst thing to ever happen in the world? Of course not because we think 9/11 is the worst thing to ever happen to us. “September 11, 2001, stands as the defining event of the 21st century. It was the worst day of my life and the best day.
It was the worst day because of the incomprehensible death, destruction and evil. September 11 was also the best day because it put on display the very finest human instincts — compassion, courage, kindness, selflessness” (Giuliani). These are the words of former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, who was the mayor during 9/11. Kingsolver’s child was wondering why there were children dancing in the streets after the news of 9/11. I actually thought the same and remember vividly watching when this occurred on the news.
Kingsolver symbolizes these children dancing in the streets as people showing their hatred towards the United States. Everybody knows there has been much anti-Americanism in the Middle East (Tooley). Yet it is undeniable that many Middle Easterners have good reason, from their perspective, to hate the USA (Tooley). In Iraq, for example, it would be amazing indeed if the ferocious death rate among civilians — especially children — since the embargo and the steady number of civilian casualties from our continued bombing had not created feelings of hatred which would give cause for celebration now (Tooley).
Kingsolver and others believe that our country needed to learn how to hurt from these attacks. I believe that is true and that we have also overcome the hurt. Al Qaeda’s intentions of these attacks were to break the United States down. But I believe that it only made the United States stronger as a nation and more aware of threats against us. Psychologically, the nation joined together in a unity that had not been seen since the end of World War II (Jensen). When it comes to our national security and our awareness of the threat from Islamic extremists, we are better prepared than we were but not as prepared as we should be. Our intelligence base is better and our airport security is better, for all its frustrations,” (Giuliani). “Will this happen to me? is the wrong question, I’m sad to say. ” The question should really be, when will this happen to me? That question is unknown to everyone. No one can predict the moment of death (Scott). People wake up each day and have no clue what will happen to them.