Uh-oh. This post is terribly late, I know. As in a month late. And I offer my apologies, especially to my reading buddies. Life has been demanding upon me lately, I have failed to comply with my reading buddy duties.
For those who might have encountered the concept of reading buddies for the first time, here is my introductory post. My previous posts for the first three parts can be read via the following links:
Without much ado here are the questions and my answers to Part 4:
Part 4: I No Longer See You to 100 years
1. Harry, the school bully, looks straight into Conor’s eyes and says, “I no longer see you”. Why is Conor so affected with this? Why do you think Lily’s letter mattered to him, that it made everything “quiet”?
It seems that Conor welcomes Harry’s bullying. He welcomes the pain. It is the only thing that feels right in his otherwise chaotic world. So when Harry told him “I no longer see you”, Conor felt that the only thing that ever felt right to him was gone. And he does not want that. He wanted the bullying to go on. He wanted to continue feeling the pain.
Lily’s letter is a revelation to Conor that there is somebody who understands his desire to be punished. Lily sees the real him, and for Conor this matters a lot.
2. Why do you think Conor was wishing to be punished for what he did to Harry? Was the Headmaster right for not punishing him?
Since the time Conor started having nightmares, he had been feeling guilty and wishing to be punished. But everyone around him seems to be giving him allowances and leeway because his mom was sick. For him, that doesn’t feel right. It isn’t normal. And he wanted badly for things to be normal.
If I were the headmaster, I would have done the same thing. I would be more lenient on Conor. That would be the right thing to do given the circumstances.
3. “You be as angry as you need to be,” Conor’s mum said to him. What do you think about this statement? People often say that anger is unhealthy, but why does Conor’s mum say it’s okay to be that?
Anger is a normal feeling, especially when things don’t go the way we expect them to be. What is unhealthy is when we suppress our anger and hold on to it for a long period of time. What Conor’s mum wanted to say is that she wanted Conor to express what he really feels. To be honest with himself that he is angry at the situation he is presently in and that he has every right to feel angry. That there is nothing wrong with being angry.