All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Twenty-Three--Growing Pains


In the 23rd episode of All in Good Storytime, we continue reading chapters 6-10 of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J.D. Vance. In these chapters, J.D. Vance begins with his family life in complete turmoil. He learns that his big sister Lindsay is actually his half-sister, temporarily moves in with his biological father and is introduced to his church, and then moves in with another of his mother's boyfriends before finally finding stability after moving in with his grandmother. We discuss Mamaw's moral strength and character as specifically seen in her kind yet comical way of handling J.D.'s misguided and short-lived belief that he might be gay. We question the apparent appropriation of studies on black inner city communities to explain the lives and situations of white hillbillies. Additionally, we examine the complicated situation of some poor people seemingly gaming the system for their benefit while others are left without adequate assistance. We end by giving a preview of J.D.'s life after leaving the Marines and the problems he faces back at college from fellow students who are unsupportive of the American military's involvement in the Middle East.


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