Breathing Underwater is an interesting story of a young boy’s self discovery. Nick’s journey towards self discovery is somewhat forced upon him when he assaults his girl friend Caitlin. The judge sentences Nick to six months of counseling that involve dealing with anger issues. In addition, due to the fact that nick claims that he doesn’t know how he got into this mess, the judge assigns Nick to write in a journal daily 500 words about what happened in his and Caitlin’s relationship (Finn, 2001). The question of this book is if Nick will lean anything about himself and what he does about it.
In addition, it is important to understand that this book is about not judging people’s lives just by looking at them. This book, at first glace has a very odd title; however very early on we get a glimpse at what breathing underwater might mean. The day of the first class, Mario asks all the students if they ever feel like they are breathing underwater and life is coming at you too fast (Finn, 2001, 20). It seems like breathing underwater means that we all are actors in our lives; we try to show people that we are brave when we are actually afraid.
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Moreover, we are forever trying to show others that we in control of ourselves when in fact we feel completely out of control. Nick hits Caitlin because he feels that he and his life are out of control. However, when he goes to class, he feels as if he doesn’t need anger counseling. In addition, nobody in the class thinks they need to be there. Moreover, when one of the classmates ends up killing is girlfriend and himself, Nick sees that he needs counseling and how anger can and does destroy lives. The end of the book deals with Nick trying to take back his life.
He tries to apologize to Caitlin for hitting her and he tells her that he loved her, he and Tom rekindle their friendship, and Nick stands up to his dad. Nick says that he is tired of breathing underwater and by the end of the book he has stopped himself from drowning in his anger. I think this book shows us that there are times when we feel as if we are breathing underwater. It also shows us that there are better ways to manage our anger such as writing about it in a journal. Works Cited Flinn, A. (2001). Breathing Underwater. New York: Harper Collins
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