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Esmeralda Ocana

Hole in My Life Jack Gantos
Passage #1: Pg. 9 of Hole in My Life, I was nineteen, still stuck in high school, and I wasnt
live at home. I had unlimited freedom and being who I was while inventing who I wanted to
be: a writer with something important to say.
This passage fits into the novel because he had all the freedom he could ever want only to
later have that taken away from him. The passage touched me a bit because I knew later in the
book he would go to jail. I didnt just know because he had already mentioned it earlier in the
book but also because of the fact that Jack Gantos had italicized the word unlimited which was
a hint that his unlimited freedom would soon be extremely limited. I think the passage was
meaningful. It was perhaps not meaningful in a positive way but in a way that makes the reader
feel that freedom is everything and if you do the wrong things all of that freedom can be instantly
taken away from you. This particular passage sort of made me feel thankful that I am free even
though I of course still live under my parents roof but that it by far better than living in a cell
behind bars.

Passage #2: Pg. 30 of Hole in My Life, As I watched the prisoners being marched away I knew
there was nothing we had in common. I wasnt angry. I didnt But that didnt mean that I
would end up in prison.
I chose this passage because it really made me feel that even the people who never do
anything bad eventually end up doing something that they shouldnt have. In this passage Gantos
made himself seem like a better person by comparing himself to all the people his dad told him
about such as rapists, drug addicts and dealers, robbers, etc. I however dont exactly agree with
the author because he obviously was not as exception of a person as he thought he was because
he ended up in prison. Although after reading the entire book, I knew he genuinely regretted
what he did so I simply think hes a good person who made bad decisions.
Passage #3: Page 57 of Hole in My Life, But all I did was smoke it. I never thought dope would
lead to trouble, and I certainly had no idea it would land my ass in jail.
I think this is a high point in the book because this is when its finally revealed as to why
Gantos ended up in jail; because of weed. I feel as though a lot of people feel the way he did. I
personally cannot relate to it but a lot of people do drugs and/or sell them thinking nothing bad
can really come from it without thinking it through completely. Gantos didnt think smoking
weed would lead him to selling it and later ending up in jail for having shipped thousands of
pounds of weed overseas. Most people dont think weed does much because its an herb but it
does lead to bad things, maybe not always but bad consequences almost always occur.
Passage #4: Page 72 of Hole in My Life, Before Hamilton and I set out on the final journey we
took several because it was obvious that we didnt so much arrive at our destinations as aim
and crash into them like kamikaze yachtsmen.
In this passage I feel the author subtly brings up a huge issue. For ten thousand dollars in
cash he was willing to ship weed overseas with someone he hadnt ever met prior to the voyage.
The issue he brings up is that for money people do the craziest things and dont even think about
the consequences that come from those crazy acts. This passage makes me pity those who have
to resort to those kinds of things because they dont have enough money. Although I do feel
there are other plenty of HONEST ways of making money even though the pay might not be a
Passage #5: Page 90 of Hole in My Life, On my night shift Ive begin to act out the final
scene, where Martin Eden pushes himself through a porthole and dives into the dark water and
intentionally drowns himself. I dont have a I do know that there is no reason for me to drown
myself from sorrow since I havent yet tried to achieve anything great.
I love the way this passage was written. I feel that it was written beautifully. I feel it was
written beautifully from using words like peaceful. But in this passage he also mentions a
rough subject; suicide. He talks about wanting to die because hes been on the boat for so long
with absolutely nothing to do but doesnt actually go through it because he hasnt done anything
great or memorable in his life. I think thats an excellent way of viewing life. One cannot die
without having accomplished anything great in their lives and thats one way of viewing life
when in a rough situation where one feels the need to take away their own life.
Passage #6: Page 134 of Hole in My Life, I spent a lot of money on drinks and meals while
reading books. I read as much jail literature as I could locate. On the Yard, Papillon, The Htiefs
Journal, Seven Long times. Like those other writers, I figured Id have to wait until the pain
subsided and left the words behind.
He compares himself a lot to other writers; he wants to be more like them. Jack Gantos
doesnt think to highly of himself but I feel hes always really compared himself to other writers
because hes always thought that he never really had anything interesting to write that was worth
reading, or so he thought. It took him prison to realize that he had plenty to write, he didnt need
to go through all that misfortune. But sometimes it takes rough times for people to realize that
they have well in their lives standing right in front of them as clich that may sound. Its
completely true.
Passage #7: Page 137 of Hole in My Life, I sat on the dock. The river smelled like something
dead. The sky was gray. I sat there and cried. I felt sad, and I hated myself for it. I felt beaten,
and I hated myself for that. I didnt have one friend. I couldnt write one word. I was just waiting
for the one day to arrive when my entire life would pivot. And I was sure things were not going
to pivot my way.
He repeats a lot of the I and I hated myself This situation reminds me of
situations in which I hated myself for making lousy mistakes. I felt that things would not change
for the better, but things like that happen to so many people and the thought that almost always
passes through all our minds is something like things will never get better, which is what Jack
Gantos made it seem like in this passage. For that reason a lot of people can probably relate to
what he was going to through. Perhaps not completely because his was selling weed but the
consequences that came from making a dumb decision is relatable.
Passage #8: Page 153 and 154 of Hole in My Life, I was dying to get to the bathroom, so once
the floor cleared out I jumped off my bunk, quickly walked to the bathroom, and took a leakAt
that moment I hated myself as much as I feared being around Lucas. It was just twenty-four
hours since I had been sentenced and I knew I was in way over my head.
This was a pretty graphic passage in the book. It really makes the audience realize the
crazy things that happen inside of a prison. It makes one really not want to end up there. I know I
would hate to be in the situation he was in; seeing my own friend laying on the floor after just
being raped. It sounds terrible. This passage was definitely a passage that raises important issues.
If one does not want to end up in what basically sounds like hell, one must not do illegal things
and become someone different from having done those illegal things.

Passage #9: I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as
a consequence of it. Oscar White.
Although that is a quote that Jack Gantos quoted before he even begins his memoir I feel
that this is the quote of the book. It perfectly describes everything that Jack went through. Jack
made plenty of bad choices but it wasnt the mistakes that he made that were bad but what he
became from making those mistakes that were bad. This quote also really hit home for me, I
think its really deep and meaningful because one should never change for the worse but rather
for the better, and Jack changed for the worse for what he had done.
Dear Ms. Pasche,
Id like to start off by saying that I switched books. I ordered the other book online but it
wouldnt come in time for me to actually finish it so I read Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos. Im
saving the other book for the next quarter. This project wasnt as difficult as I anticipated it to be.
The only thing I really had trouble on was that I first read my book first and I didnt annotate it
right away because its a library book and I didnt have post-it notes on me. I had to go back and
skim the book and look for passages. Other than that the project was pretty straight forward and
easy. I really enjoyed the book that I read. I thought it would be boring but it actually wasnt.