English Personal Essay HW

Text: One Thousand and One Nights of Laundry

What is revealed about the writer?

The writer reveals not only that they still have a deep love for their [ex]-husband, but that, oppositely, they cannot imagine a life with him. Despite clearly discussing that there is still a very real and very powerful love between the two, to the point of which they forsake convenience to visit each other (not fixing their washing machines to see him). The writer and her children are also in a somewhat tight economic situation; they live in a rental house, they cannot afford internet, and they travel back to their father’s (her ex-husband’s) house to do laundry. Despite knowing full well that he is an incredible person, the writer cannot imagine living in the same roof as him; his PTSD and personal “tragic flaws” (among which, apparently, there is alcoholism) are too great to maintain a functional relationship. However, the writer remains caring enough to constantly visit him, and check up on him.

How does the writer develop a sense of self and their world?

By referring to anecdotes of her past, the writer also manages to convey important details of herself. For example, the story of her grandparent’s relationship, where they lived apart despite loving each other very much. This, of course, mirrors her current situation with her former husband; despite loving him, and accepting him as her family, she cannot live with him, nor would she allow letting her children live with him. Her past with him, where she met him as his teacher whilst he was a refugee fleeing from Iraq, allows us to understand that the writer, too, bears deep emotional scars, chiefly among which is the suicide of her brother. Despite the occasion of their union appearing rather drab, with them enjoying an “uninspiring platter of standards” at a Lebanese restaurant following their wedding, their love is still highly evident, as is their care for their children; they married so that their children wouldn’t be born out of wedlock (“If that mattered”).

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