Please, write your thoughts on chapter 8, “Mushrooms.”
Ok so an interesting line in chapter 8. I was formally in the Army and this quote sprung a lot of memories. “A World War II trench. There are many of them in the woods, trenches and bomb craters, their sides smoothed by time…” I was stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky and in the back corners of the base are abandoned Cold War bunkers. This quote reminds me of how war never really leaves an area. Even the Cold War. I believe these bunkers stored some kind of nuclear material. Iniside the bunkers there are large prison style doors. Each of the doors have huge locks on them and are virtually impassible. I don’t know why these are abandoned but they are. The fact that the military comes and ravishes a place and then leaves it tarnished. It almost bothers me since I was in. Especially how while I was in Afghanistan, we just left stuff after we came to an area. It’s a different mind set while you’re in combat. Those bunkers saved lives or probably weren’t used at all. Just a quick thought on how in the time of war, people do whatever they want to the Earth.
I knew how Elena felt throughout her journey of hunting those mushrooms down. I used to go hunting for morel mushrooms when I was younger with my family. I remember seeing all the different types and kinds of mushrooms with all of their colors. I also liked how she compared fishing to mushroom hunting. The fact she refereed to is as a “ritual” to go in the morning. You also have to have the feel for finding the mushrooms. I guess it is kind of a strange hobby but oh well it is quite fun as a kid.
“For years, stories have been floating around the countryside about boys who found shells in the woods, threw them into the campfires, and had fingers blown off their reckless hands.”
When I read this, I was instantly reminded of urban legends that I heard. I grew up in the country, and throughout my childhood I always heard urban legends. I remember that every story had a hidden meaning behind it. I heard one about a boy that got lost in the woods. The moral of the story was to always tell your parents where you are going. I believe that the stories that Elena heard have a similar purpose. Elena even said that she never saw any boys with missing fingers, so this leads me to believe that the stories are meant to scare the children. If they are reminded of the boys that got hurt, then they are less likely to mess around with dangerous equipment.
I can relate to elana as they would go hunting for mushrooms. I would go with my dad and his friends sometimes when they were in season and we would go hunting for morel mushrooms. I always thought it was a lot of fun, because for us it was really just another excuse to get out in the woods, and enjoy nature. I love how morels taste, but I think its cool how they have so many different purposes for a bunch of different kinds of mushrooms. like the red ones with white dots the fact they are mixed in a saucer with water and it kills off a bunch of flies. really cool and creative.
I can relate to Elana trying to out-do here sister by picking more mushrooms. The only difference is I am the oldest so my two younger siblings always try to do better than me in everything I do or have done. So I can relate to her trying to pick more mushrooms than her sister because I am always trying to stay better than my younger siblings.
In this chapter Elena goes mushroom hunting with family. Elena and I are not so much different in the fact that we both like to outdo our siblings. She picked more mushrooms than her sister like I would want to outdo my brother. When she starts talking about the trench she found I found it interesting. I think she put that in the book to show a war never really leaves the area. It will always be in the hearts of everyone, even long after its done.
“She tries to ignore what I have in my basket, her eyes barely skirting its contents, but I make her look.
This part of the chapter made me think about blueberry picking with my granddaughter, and her competiveness to get the most blueberries. After picking for awhile, she would declare herself the winner, and eat what she had picked.
I liked when Marina ” squeezed out a smile” to acknowledge Elena had some very spectacular mushrooms. I felt this showed the love they had for each other.
This chapter presented a few things that we would be a lot less likely to encounter in the United States. First, picking wild mushroom for eating is not common here. In fact, many of the mushrooms in the States would make a person sick. Secondly, the fear of encountering old land mines and weaponry left over from a war in the woods is not something that Americans have. The only war items that someone could encounter would probably be from the civil war and would not be nearly as dangerous as the items depicted in this chapter.
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