Anthony Rodriguez May 7, 2013



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Anthony Rodriguez

May 7, 2013

English, 4B

Montana 1948 Reader’s Response Essay

Family Dynamics

Family Dynamics is basically ways in which family members relate to one another. Likewise, the Family Dynamics in Montana 1948 is how Uncle Frank and Wesley (David’s father) had an issue. The relation between these two family members wasn’t all that great, since Wesley’s job was to be the town Sherriff of Bentrock, and Uncle Frank wasn’t obeying the Sherriff’s law enforcement. Uncle Frank and Wesley are brothers, but it didn’t really stop Wesley from doing his job when Wesley found out that Frank killed Marie, the housekeeper and babysitter for David and the family. Uncle Frank had murdered Marie, and had admitted to his sin, and Wesley had to keep him arrested in the basement of the house. Having Uncle Frank locked up in the basement purposely happened so that it would keep secret. The arrest of Uncle Frank had to be secret, because the arrest would look bad on Wesley since it’s his brother. The case of the murder wouldn’t look good as an officer, especially to lock up his own brother. The Hayden’s name would be spoiled and look bad all over the town of Bentrock, so locking up Frank in the basement was the only way to save the embarrassment.

An old family among living in Montana seems to not really be as happy as they look when they start to find out things about their own family. The nanny of David, Marie, starts to get sick, and the family is sad, especially when Marie dies. The family has suspicion that Uncle Frank had something to do with Marie’s death. And Uncle Frank admits to Wesley, David’s

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father that he killed Marie. Uncle Frank is then locked up in Wesley’s basement, after Wesley finds out that Frank has been raping the Indian women in Bentrock. Later on, Wesley kills himself in the basement after finding out he would go to jail. The family then just decided to move to North Dakota.

I’d have to compare myself in the same way to the main character in the book, David, because he has always been more of a mellow and humble person. I’ve always grown up with problems around me also, including death with someone close to our family, like David’s housekeeper, Marie. Still after terrible and great things that happen in my life, I still have the same shy personality. I’m also a very protective person over my family, and my mother especially, and it connected a thought between the story and my life. Because in the book, it said that someone tried to break in, and David was just trying to protect his mother. In situations like a break in or robbery, I’d be right there by my mother’s side, I’d give up my life for my mother just like David would. It shows that David has loyalty to his loved ones, and I’ve been a loyal person since I can even remember.

I’d have to say that in Montana 1948, that there was something that I was very angry about. The event that made me angry immediately was when David had seen his father Wesley and Uncle Frank were arguing face to face and David wanted to kill Uncle Frank. This made me very angry because David could not even hear what the two were bickering about. David was behind a tree trunk and just felt the need to kill his own family member with no remorse, over an argument he had no knowledge about. Later on, the two shake hands, and if David were to try to kill his uncle, and he successfully did so, it would have been for no reason. I think that David’s
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loyalty and respect to his family is non-existent and David should remember who has been there for him.



Larry Watson wrote this book to show that even in the back of your mind, you should acknowledge that even family can be your worst enemy, and that loyalty plays a big part, in any family. Larry’s purpose in Montana 1948 was to show that you have to leave your work at work. You can’t think of the criminals you arrest when you’re out having family time, you have to leave your work, at work. Larry had to show that your work should also never really appear in the way you handle family problems. Larry Watson is a genius book writer and I loved reading Montana 1948.

In conclusion, Montana 1948 taught me that only in time, no matter what kind of a family or world you come from, you can’t ever trust someone. This book is basically about how a family struggled to stay together, and how anyone can be your worst enemy. A lot of people take life for granted, and want to do harm to others, for their own problems, their own selfish reasons, but don’t take the time to really think about what they are doing. People like Uncle Frank are the reason why people have no faith in being good human beings themselves. Montana 1948 really is a good book, but I hate Uncle Frank, rapists should be killed on sight. Montana 1948 was a really fun book to read, I like the way the characters fit along, and how Montana 1948 was written.


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