What are your thoughts on chapter 9 of Medicine River?

Quick answer:

In chapter 9 of Medicine River, we are introduced to Clyde Whiteman. Clyde has made many mistakes in his life, and he constantly repeats the same mistakes. This may cause the reader to reflect on if we can choose our own fate. Additionally, we learn about the stories Will's mom used to tell him. For Will's mom, it is clearly still painful to think about Will's dad. Thinking about painful experiences is something many people would rather avoid.

Expert Answers

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Naturally, you will have your own personal reflection and thoughts on chapter 9, but the following ideas may help you compose your own ideas.

In this chapter, we are introduced to a new character, Clyde Whiteman. In high school, Clyde was a star basketball player, and everyone “figured he’d go off and become famous.” Unfortunately, Clyde couldn’t seem to keep himself out of trouble and was never able to fulfill this dream. At first, Harlen chalks it up to “bad luck,” but by the end of the chapter, Harlen is no longer making up excuses for Clyde’s actions. Clyde knows he is disappointing so many people, including himself, but he can’t seem to change. Every time he gets out of jail, he thinks that this time is “going to be different.” However, each time is always the same.

Hearing Clyde’s story may cause some readers to think about if luck actually exists or if we create our own luck through the choices we make. Additionally, most people can relate to the feeling of disappointing someone. In this sense, many people will be able to relate to Clyde.

Another important part of this chapter is learning about the stories Will’s mom used to tell him and his brother. Each time she would tell them a story, she would never use Will’s father’s name, but she would refer to him as “someone.” The reader can infer that Will’s mom doesn’t use his father’s name because it may be too painful for her. In life, many people avoid talking about experiences or memories that cause them pain. In this way, some readers will be able to relate to Will’s mom.

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