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Events in Conroy’s “Stop-Time” and Personal Experience


Sometimes in life, one event can happen that changes a series of several others, tearing down the foundation we have built for several years, leaving nothing but ruins. It is somewhat unfair that just one particular event adversely affects one’s entire life and destiny.

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When all that once brought happiness and joy has turned to be the bitter experiences of our lives, when the people who once respected us have turned to be our daily nightmares, and when our only hope is gone, fate takes its course (Conroy 125). At hardly nine, the cruel hands of death took my beloved grandfather who I was living with away. He had battled brain cancer for several years. Frankly, life lost meaning (Paloolian 156).


Every cloud has a positive aspect. Just as I thought all was lost, I got an opportunity to travel to the United States of America, the land of dreams. I was excited and for a moment, I felt I was given another opportunity to fulfill my childhood dreams. The one-week period of preparations for my travel seemed as though it were a whole year. Then finally came the day (Browning 11). My excitement was short-lived as I soon realized that I was to leave my friends behind. I knew my options were limited, and so I had to face the reality of leaving them behind (Browning 14). I must admit that parting with Ruth was quite unbearable; she was a sister to me. We slept together, played together, and even ate together. She was a true friend who protected my life with her own life.

The journey from home to the airport was quite boring and tuff. My luggage was too heavy for me but my uncle did not bother helping. Tired and hungry, I dragged the suitcase on the road up to the airport. I missed Ruth’s unending support and my grandfather’s love; they knew my limits and could have come to my rescue (Dittman 97). On arriving at the airport, we got the information that our flight would be late. To help pass the time, my uncle bought The Standard Newspaper to read and a cup of coffee for me. He was quite uncomfortable being with because he hardly talked and his gaze was scary. I knew the journey would be even more boring, so I bought an interesting travel-book

Suddenly, we heard a beautiful feminine voice announcing the arrival of our flight. Almost immediately, passengers filled the clearance platform for routine security checkup. It was pushing and elbowing as passengers struggled to get in. As the platform got more crowded, I was pushed further and further from my uncle but dared not hold his hands. The plane was beautiful.

After eight hours of travel, our plane finally touched down. We were in the US. I saw big and magnificent buildings. The beauty of the airport reassured me of the reality of my dreams. Soon we were in a taxi that took as to “my new home.”

I was hardly a week in my new home, yet I had gone through a lot. With each passing day, my sweet dreams and expectations faded, leaving behind emptiness, regrets, frustrations, and bitterness. I did all the house chores and slept after midnight. I was punished severely for even mistakes I did not make and had to sleep without eating on many occasions. There was no one to talk to, and I felt so alone. Our neighborhood was hostile and no one dared to leave the house at night (Paloolian 142). One rascal even tried defiling me but I was too strong for him. I needed my uncle the most at that particular moment, but he was not there; he has never been. I lived in constant fear thereafter and always wished my grandfather were alive.

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Reading Frank Conroy’s book “Stop-Time,” I see the reason and significance of mentioning the death of his beloved father. In this autobiography, he portrays himself as a young boy whose passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond was full of suffering and pain. He had a sad life. A life full of doing odd jobs, loss of many treasured friends, and brutal treatment at school. Many of these could have not happened if it were not for the death of his father. Lose of a guardian or a parent is the worst thing that can happen to a child. It completely changed the direction of my life (Conroy 199). My grandfather was like a father to me. He taught me all I know and shaped my character.

Works Cited

Browning, Barbara T. Tarus Exciting Journey. Oregon: Xlibris Corporation, 2009. Print.

Conroy, Frank. Stop-Time. New York: Penguin, 1977. Print.

Dittman, Michael. Small Brutal Incidents. Brooklyn, New York: Contemporary Press, 2006.

Paloolian, Mark. Brutality. Firstchoicebooks, 2007. Print.

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