literary exploration

literary exploration

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The narrator of this excerpt is American actor Rob Lowe. In this excerpt, he reflects on a
trip he took to France to promote a film. During his time there, he visited a war memorial
in Normandy.
The cliffs are widespread and brutally tall. The beach before them is so wide, it’s clear
that there was nowhere to hide. The young men who were shot dead here would’ve been
exactly my age, dying alone and unprotected, giving “the last full measure of devotion,”
in the lonely, cold mist of an early June morning.
I am standing at the German gun emplacements of Pointe du Hoc, where so many fell. On
my left there is the beautiful and appalling field of crosses and Stars of David for the
heroes whom, until today, I had never seriously considered. Brokaw would eventually
write his book and Spielberg would one day make his movie, but in the early fall of 1986,
nothing has prepared me for the emotion of this great battlefield on France’s Normandy
I’m twenty-two years old. I’ve never known for want. There’s always been food on the
table and the sweet smell of possibility, of a horizon free of impediment. I had
opportunity, worked hard, and made my dreams come true. Here’s a guy on a plaque,
eighteen years old, from Iowa. Another is twenty-two and from a town in northern
Michigan. A door lowered; they ran into raging fire; if they lived they tried to climb those
terrible cliffs, hand over hand, wide open to the barrages from above. If they got there,
some fought, some charged in the maw of the .50 cals, anything to silence the howling
guns, to save their brothers and achieve the objective. To do the job. To save our country.
All the training, all the planning, all the money, all the strategy, finally and simply came
down to that. When the door was lowered, could the twenty-two-year-old from Michigan
step out and face the job at hand?
A stiff wind is blowing off the English Channel it’s making my eyes water. Glenn stands
back with the big, black Mercedes and the chauffeur. There’s another black-tie dinner and
it’s a long drive back to the resort. I need to get going. People have paid money to see me,
to meet me, and to congratulate me on the achievement of the film. I walk back to the car,
past the graves and the flags, past the boys from the United States who never came home.
I hop in the back, shut the door, and drive away.
The dinner is held in an ornate seventeenth-century ballroom. There are beautiful women.
There’s lots of wine. But I’m quiet. Someone asks me if I have something on my mind. I
say no, but I do. It’s a twenty-two-year-old marine from a town in northern Michigan.
-another resource is the novel “night” by elie wiesel

create a literary exploration essay.

Paragraph 1: introduction to the texts and your thesis statement

Paragraph 2: Discussion of a character from the given text which is “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” by Rob Lowe in your Reading Package

Paragraph 3: Discussion of a character from the novel

Paragraph 4: Description of your personal story

Paragraph 5: Conclusion.

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