Please, write your thoughts on chapter 5, “Lenin and Squirrels.”
Hey so I’m reading this book in my EN 111 class in college and I wanted to write down a quote and talk about it. This quote is on the very first page of chapter 5. “Zoya is blond and perfect, her long hair arranged in two tiny braids with bows at the ends, her black apron buttoned over her smart brown dress with a white collar, always starched.”
This quote really reflects on the popular girl in high school, at least for me. The girl who every guy dreams to be with and who is basically an angel from heaven. But besides from being beautiful, she has no idea who she really is. She is made by compliments and rumors. She has no personality whatsoever. She just has the giggles she gives when the football players flirt with her. She is the girl we all dream of, but is actually nothing.
Then when you have your first class reuinion you see her again. She has gone no where in life. She just followed the same track as everyone else, never swaying from it. This bothers me with more than just girls. A lot of kids never go out and explore. They are lost in the ideas of society. Little do we know that the kids who don’t dress up and get complimented everyday probably have the best stories of all.
“Although none of us has any idea of what a diamond or a gold nugget looks like, we are aware of the diamond’s supremacy and thus my second-place standing.”
This section reminds me of my life. I can relate to Elena’s situation. She’s being compared to someone that’s superior. She’s being compared Zoya Churkina, a stuck up smart girl. She’s supposed to be the best in the class. The third grade teacher, Vera Pavlovna, calls Zoya “our diamond”. I can relate to being the second best. In high school I competed with another classmate. You could even call him my rival. I did the same amount of work as him in class, but the teacher always seemed to favor my classmate. In this way, I can connect to Elena’s frustration of being second best. Since I made a personal connection to this passage in the novel, I believe that I have a greater appreciation of the work.
In this chapter Elena and her classmates take a trip to the dentist. “The room is the size of our school cafeteria… although the drills make it look less like a cafeteria and more like a factory floor. I remember my first trip to the dentist and how afraid i was that he was going to remove all of my teeth. I can remember being walked to the room with the dental chair, and how i thought that the chair looked like some new torture device. I sat down and while the dentist looked at my x-rays. In my head i imagined him pulling our a power drill and start drilling in every one of my teeth. To my suprise he just cleaned my teeth and said that he would see me again next year. I felt. My sister on the other hand cried the entire time the dentist was in the room. I felt tough for not crying just like how Elena felt she was just like her father for going through the pain and not crying.
This chapter was an interesting look into the communist system. The depiction of the dentist visits much more graphic than any dentist visit I have ever had. I was interested by the system of getting the students to buy into the communist system. By making them “pioneers,” the students were more likely to believe in the communist system.
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