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Shattered by Eric Walters
Transcript of Shattered by Eric Walters
Shattered By Eric Walters
The first time Jacques is introduced in the novel readers make the immediate assumption that he is just a Homeless man on the streets of Toronto, but as the book progresses on readers learn much more to his story than that. Jacques was actually in the Canadian military for 24 years Served as a peacekeeper in many countries around the World, including Rwanda He is on the streets because he suffers from PSTD which was triggered in Rwanda Jacques is a homeless man living on the streets of Toronto because he is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder also known as PSTD. PSTD is a condition the develops after witnessing a tragic event. It causes people extreme psychological trauma. The number one problem PSTD causes is the inability to forget the tragic event which took place in their earlier life. People can be diagnosed with PSTD from experiencing almost any event but the leading cause is experiencing War. Some signs of Jacques suffering from PSTD are: "You know, in the beginning my greatest fear was that I would be killed. At the end my greatest fear was that I wouldn't be" (150). This quotation by Jacques shows how his focuses and thought about the genocide in Rwanda shift as he is there longer Jacques realizes that he will never be able to live with himself with the memories of Rwanda in his head He feels that he should have died with the people of Rwanda than to be one of the few survivors
This is a sign of PSTD because often when solders are serving together they develop strong relationships. It is not uncommon for solders to feel the same way as Jacques after a witnessing a friend or fellow solder die in combat "You know nothing about it ... nothing about what happened there, do you?" (99). This quotation by Jacques refers to his surprise to what little Ian knows about the Rwanda genocide which Jacques took part in Jacques is hurt about the fact that Ian knows nothing about what happened in Rwanda Jacques knows the sacrifices he and the other peacekeepers made in Rwanda and he gets the sense that what they did there made little difference to the rest of the world This is a sign of Jacques PSTD, because Ian brought up Rwanda in the conversation, something Jacques has been trying to forget, and Ian knows nothing about it, it will cause Jacques to remember the horrible events that happened in Rwanda and get the feeling that it was all for nothing. "See that Jacket on the ground? When I see it I think it’s a body. See the piled up branches? When I see them I see human limbs." "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to bring all that back." says Ian. "You didn't bring it back because it never went away." explains Jacques (163-164) In this brief conversation between Jacques and Ian, Jacques talks to Ian about the scars Rwanda has left in his memory and how everyday images bring back the most horrible images in his head. Ian apologizes for causing Jacques to remember these horrible scenes but Jacques explains to Ian that he didn't cause Jacques to remember because Jacques never forgot. What Jacques describes to Ian about what he sees are affects that PSTD have on Jacques.
These affects are lifelong and Jacques will never be able to forget about them '"Do you see that bottle?" "Do you think you can put it back together again?" "It’s not just broken; it’s SHATTERED into a million pieces!" "That bottle ... That's me ... " (182) This quotation by Jacques just might be the most important in the novel Jacques uses the smashed wine bottle as a metaphor for his own life neither can be put back together or be made whole again. This quote represents that Jacques' PSTD symptoms have taken control of him and they are holding Jacques back from putting his life back together "Nobody is asking you to forget, I'm asking you to remember those that you saved and to honor those that you couldn't save" (202). This quotation said by Ian is a huge game changer in the novel the main message of the quote is that Jacques has been dealing with his PSTD symptoms all wrong What Jacques was doing was trying to forget all the memories of Rwanda when what he needs to do is remember all the lives he saved and the difference he made in the world Instead of Jacques using his PSTD as an excuse not to put his life back together he needs to use the memories to drive himself to do so and this help from Ian helps Jacques come to this realization
We All know that by the end of the book Jacques is a changed man because of the help he received from Ian. Jacques overcame his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Jacques is just a fictional character who suffers from PSTD but represents thousands of real people who experience the same symptoms and events. It is known that about 1 in 3 war veterans suffer some degree of PSTD. For many solders, PSTD is not the problem but being in any military can put a huge load of stress on someone. Ian was only 15 years old as old as most of us here and what he did was extraordinary and it showed that you can make a difference in other people’s lives from very young age.
The book is about a teen named Ian, who was failing a grade 10 civics class, his teacher told him to do 40 hours of community service in order to pass gr 10 civics. Ian picked “The Club”, Later he finds out that the club was not a club, it was a soup kitchen for homeless. He later meets a homeless man, while he was walking through the park to get "the club" While some teenagers jump Ian, and Mac the sergeant from a peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, Helps Ian get his possessions back from the 3 teenagers who jumped Ian. "Serge" later ends up at the soup kitchen after Ian got jumped by the 3 teenagers. Ian’s teacher later tells the class that they have to interview someone that was in a war; Ian interviews "Serge" about Rwanda. He asked Serge a few questions about the UN Peacekeeping missions in Rwanda. Ian upset Serge during the interview and Serge got up and left the soup kitchen upset. Ian asked Serge what his real name was. Jacques is his real name. Jacques said that the Genocide in Rwanda was about an act of Racism, against black people. Berta, Ian housekeeper later told Ian more about the Genocide in Rwanda. What it was about and other reasons why it happened. In order for Ian to get a car on his 16th birthday, Ian must pass grade 10 civics class 800,000 people were killed during the genocide in Rwanda, over 100 days! Ian skips school one day to get more information about Rwanda from Jacques. Jacques said that in the rivers they needed men to unclog the bodies that floated down the river of died bodies that were shot down dead. The genocide killed more than 20% of Rwanda’s population! Later Mac tells Ian that he used to be homeless. He also was an alcoholic. After Ian’s 40 hours of community service, Ian later gets addicted to work. He now helps out at the club after his 40 hours of community service
Ian remembered what Mac had said to him about the child Jacob, who survived the house attack in Guatemala. Berta(nanny of Ian) heard what Ian had said, and burst into tears. Berta then told the story about what happened in Guatemala, and how she was a victim of that house attack. She told that Jacob was her brother. She then told Ian, how she survived that day. " I remember what my dad said about when hearing screams and music, he told me to hide in the closet and bury my self with clothes. I heard them coming there feet hitting the ground with those enormous boots. They looked in the closet where I was hiding, but luckily they didn't look under the clothes. After they left, my dad kept a stash of money and a plane ticket to a new place. But my whole family died except Jacob!"
Ian- A 15- year old boy, describes himself as an average teenager who finds he needing to volunteer for 40 hours for his civics class to pass.
Berta- Ian's nanny and caretaker, and who once was a survivor of a serious house attack in Guatemala.
MacDonald (Mac) - He is the owner of the soup kitchen that serves the homeless people, and lives in a small corner of the kitchen.
"Serge" (Jacques) - He is a homeless person, who once was a peacekeeper stationed in Rwanda.
And it all takes place in Canada
Rwanda were millions of people were murdered, Thanks to all the soldiers that helped