Gianna MBeautiful Boy by David Sheff Part 1 pgs 1-40Beautiful Boy By David Sheff is a non fiction novel about a fathers journey through the troubles of raising his teenage son Nic, who is addicted to Crystal Meth. The book starts off by describing Nic’s home life. His parents divorced when he was at a young age leaving it up to his father to raise him during the school year and his mother , in the summer. At a very young age Nic started to show signs of depression, with this his father decided to send him to therapy were he dealt with his feelings from his parents divorce. Years after Nic’s father remarried making Nic’s life appear to be better when really it confused him. With in these first few chapters Nic is described to be a leader and a child that fell under peer pressure very easily, starting at age 9. Nic and his father were said to have a close relationship , even threw his transitions of growing up. “Nic had been a sensitive, sagacious, exceptionally smart and joyful child, but on meth he became unrecognizable”. (9) Sagacious- wise or shrewd: having or based on a profound knowledge and understanding of the world combined with intelligence …”a teacher writes about his burgeoning sense of kindness and generosity and concludes , “I wonder at the gifts he will undoubtedly bring to the world”. (37) Burgeoning- growing quickly: growing or expanding rapidlyMy connection:I could connect on how the author, David Sheff feels since with in my family there has been drug abuse. It is hard to cope with when you don’t know what could do to help the person. I could connect to him when he says that he would catch his son in a lie since we have caught a family member of mine in many lies too. Dealing with a person who is abusing drugs could be extremely painful to watch and to help. Quotes:“I don’t think you should always try your best all the time,“ he writes “because, let’s say a drug atick asks you for drugs you should not try your best to find him some drugs”. (26)This was what Nic would write in his persuasive essays when he was in grade school. This was before he even became addicted to meth. He’s saying that you should only try your best when it is going to benefit someone and not harm anyone. In this quote “trying your best” would harm someone. “I sense that he’s undergoing a fitful transformation, as if a tug of war s being waged inside him”. (36)At age 9 Nic is already showing signs of a troubled child. His father started to notice his actions when he got re married. I think that this was the start of Nic’s troubled years. I wonder why Nic’s father didn’t start to discipline his when he noticed his behavior change… I wonder what say Nic’s real mother had in making decisions when he was younger…
Beautiful Boy by David SheffSummary: In the beginning of this book, David Sheff’s son Nic seems to be a very well behaved child, but after his parents got divorced he seemed to have changed. David loved his son and thought he was a good kid up until he entered the 7th grade when David finds marijuana in Nic’s room. He talks to Nic about it and Nic promises not to do it again and says he is sorry. Vocabulary Words: “Nic had been a sensitive, sagacious, exceptionally smart and joyful child, but on meth he became unrecognizable.” (9) Sagacious- having or showing acute mental discernment and keen practical sense; shrewd“In telling our story, I resisted the temptation to foreshadow, because it would be disingenuous- and a disservice to anyone going through this…” (14) Disingenuous- lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincereQuotes: “His coach tells us that Nic is a leader; the other children look to him for guidance.” (33)“What made you want to try pot? It wasn’t very long ago that the idea of smoking anything-a cigarette, never mind marijuana- repulsed you…” (55) Discussion Questions: How did David really feel when he found the marijuana in Nic’s room?Did David ever think that his son would become a drug addict or did he not see it coming at all?Clarification Question: What is going to end up happening to Nic? Will he ever recover from his drug addcition?
Section 2 40-103 Gianna , Merrill & Bianca Chat:Merrill: In section 2 Nic went to high school and they found out that Nic was smoking pot again. He still remained to get good grades, but he became more rebellious. Gianna: “their ambition was drained because of decades of Marijuana smoking” pg 89. I specifically chose this quote because it gave me a feeling that marijuana could change people and how it could change your dreams. Bianca- It seems like when he started to smoke pot he became a teenager that no longer cared about his school work, or appearance. He never wanted to be around his family either. Merrill- David Sheff (the author) explains to his son, lectures him about going to a therapist and staying active in school, and only wants the best for his son. “I tell him about another ex-friend, one who was never able to hold down a job and never had a relationship that lasted longer than a month or two”. Pg 89Gianna – Merrill that quote does describe how even Nic’s father was surrounded by drugs as a teen too. I wonder why he didn’t get addicted after trying many drugs like his son did.Bianca- I don’t understand that either , most people get addicted to drugs when they do them once. Gianna- “my son, the svelte and muscular swimmer, water polo player and surfer with an ebullient smile is bruised, sallow, skin and bone and his eyes are vacant black holes”. Pg 102 This showed the readers that drugs can affect even the most innocent well rounded person. Nic had everything going for him and in this section we saw the dramatic change that happened. Merrill- when we first started to read this novel it described Nic’s child life and too see him be this new person it scares me. I don’t know what he is going to be like with in the next few chapters…Biannca- “it sinks in , god no. I am horrified that Nic has used meth. I had my own experience with that drug too”. This was the quote that finalized this section. It ended off that Nic has just tried meth and his father is devastated.
Gianna , Bianca , and Merrill section 3 vocabulary Words: Debauchery- seduction from virtue or duty, indulgence in sensuality Ubiquitous- existing or being everywhere at the same time Summary: In section 3 Nic graduated from high school and attended Berkley College. At college he started to experience with different drugs. Nic’s addiction became far worse; he had started doing crystal meth which is a much more addictive and powerful drug than marijuana. His father no longer knew what to do. He would often try to put his feet in Nic’s shoes and try to understand where Nic was coming from with this drug problem, because he had also had a problem with drugs when he was Nic’s age. David could see that Nic had a problem because Nic would go away for days at a time and only call his father if he was in trouble and needed help. Questions: · Why didn’t Nic’s mother do more to help him? · What was Nic’s main influence to do drugs?
Vocabulary Words: Debauchery- seduction from virtue or duty, indulgence in sensuality Ubiquitous- existing or being everywhere at the same time Summary: In section 3 Nic graduated from high school and attended Berkley College. At college he started to experience with different drugs. Nic’s addiction became far worse; he had started doing crystal meth which is a much more addictive and powerful drug than marijuana. His father no longer knew what to do. He would often try to put his feet in Nic’s shoes and try to understand where Nic was coming from with this drug problem, because he had also had a problem with drugs when he was Nic’s age. David could see that Nic had a problem because Nic would go away for days at a time and only call his father if he was in trouble and needed help. Questions: · Why didn’t Nic’s mother do more to help him? · What was Nic’s main influence to do drugs?Quotations:"Then again he says that he doesn't need it, he is sober, fuck you, and then he says he needs drugs and cannot survive without them. Life sucks, which is why i get high."