The Great Fire
By: Jim Murphy
(Used for our Literature Discussion Group)
Murphy, J. (1995). The great fire. New York: Scholastic Inc.
Well it's over and it is hard to believe what all took place in such a short time period. I was relieved that Claire found her family. Her story helps the reader to grasp how terrible the fire truly was. The whole day that she was supposidly standing infront of her house waiting on her family, she was really at the wrong house. The fire had destroyed so much that she could not even recognize where her own home used to be.
I was also appalled at the gossip, blaming, pointing the finger at others in blame, and demoralizing others that took place after the fire. I thought Murphy did a wonderful job at not only drawing the reader into the book and capturing you to not want to put the book down; as well as providing the reader with the truth about the fire. He let you see the destruction through photos and illustrations as well as through maps. Murphy also pointed out that the fire destroyed a city as well as peoples perspectives of others. He did a wonderful job at letting the reader be aware of all the spiculations of how the fire got started and showed you how it seperated the different social classes which is still evident today in Chicago.
The LDG has helped me to see how I read text and to see others perspective on how they read text. I found at first that I had lots of aesthetic responses. I tended to focus mainly on the connections and how the book made me feel, which I think we were all doing. As time went on I started having more efferent responses as I started picking out how Murphy was writing, quotes, the map, and the facts of what was actually taking place.
It seemed to me through the LDG we all started doing this within our blogs. However, we all brought seperate feelings, responses, and connections to the table which helped me to read the next chapters a little diffrently and get more out of my reading. Overall, I enjoyed the book and sharing it with others. I will definitely never look at Chicago the same way I did before reading this book.