Touching Spirit Bear Question 1: Cole Matthews is an abused child who turned into a troubled kid because his parents abused him every day. He became an angry person who was willing to take anybody out in his way. When he got into trouble he would manipulate everyone into thinking he was sorry but he never really meant it. Cole hated everyone because anytime he didn’t get his way he would resort to the same violence and anger his father used on him. Cole thinks everything is a game, he thinks he should never be responsible for his own actions. Cole managed to get away with everything with no issues until he assaulted Peter.
Cole thought he did no wrong because Peter told on him and anyone. Cole thought he could talk his way out of the assault charges like the other events when he got into trouble. The only reason Cole Joined circle Justice is because Garvey told him he could avoid going to Jail. If Garvey hadn’t gotten Cole to join Circle Justice he wouldn’t have changed his bad ways. Being alone on the island, getting attacked by the spirit bear, and learning ways to relieve his anger through soaking in the pond and pushing the rock taught him to view the world in a new perspective. Cole realized that staying angry was the worst thing he could have done.
He finally accepted his actions and saw the error in his ways. I saw the change in Cole’s character when he wanted to help Peter channel his anger. Cole never cared about anyone besides himself throughout his entire life. He was actually trying to help and wanted to be forgiven by Peter. Cole deceived everyone in his life and never cared about it. It was now in his best interest to become a better person, and rid himself of the evil he did in his life. Cole’s existence didn’t matter to him on the island, which caused him to have sympathy for others. All of the things that Cole had experience on the island caused his to change his ways.
Bullying can come in different forms such as verbal and physical. They both can cause harm to others. Verbal bullying puts people down and can cause depression and even suicide. Words can do Just as much harm to people as physical bullying. Making people feel bad about their self can lead to them harming themselves or even turning into bullies themselves. Physical bullying not only harms people physically it harms them spiritually, socially, and mentally. Getting beaten up causes people to live in fear waiting for something bad to happen, which makes them mentally unstable. People who get abused isolate themselves from the rest of society.
People who get physically bullied mentally detach themselves from everyone in their life. Peter received verbal and physical bullying from Cole. Cole handled things the way his dad did by using his fists. Being raised in an environment with parents who snitched on him so he verbally and physically bullied Peter. Cole picked on Peter all the time at school because he thought he was irritating. Cole beat him up to exert his supremacy and to show him that he shouldn’t have snitched on him. Cole was used to getting beat when he didn’t fulfill his father’s expectations so taking out his frustrations on Peter was his way of dealing with his anger.
I feel Cole suffers more because he has to deal with the fact that he caused brain damage to Peter. Peter would never walk or talk right again and that load weighs on Cole. It is a burden on Cole that he has to deal with the rest of his life. Question 2: The people who got harmed in this situation were Peter, Cole, Peter’s parents, Cole’s parents, and the Circle Justice members. Peter was harmed physically, mentally, and mentally. Peter was physically assaulted and got brain damage and a limp that will last forever. Peter was harmed mentally because he had incoherent speech and brain damage.
He was harmed mentally because he was living in fear waiting for Cole to come back and beat him again. Cole was harmed physically, mentally, and psychologically. He was harmed physically because he was attacked by the spirit bear after he was sent to the island. He was harmed mentally because he couldn’t get away from the assault from the spirit bear. He was also harmed psychologically because he was being sent to the island to be alone by himself. Peter’s parents were harmed emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. They were harmed emotionally because their son would never be able to function the same way ver again.
They were harmed mentally because their son would feel pain for the rest of his life. And they were harmed psychologically because they knew their son was living in fear. Cole’s parents were harmed financially and socially. Cole’s parents had to pay for Cole’s attorney Nathaniel Blackwood to get Cole out of facing serious consequences. They also were seen as abusers and that endangered their decent lives. When Cole bullied and attacked Peter he used terrorization, emotional abuse, and blaming to make sure Peter knew he did wrong when he snitched on Cole.
Cole ade himself the big bully to assert his dominance over Peter to make him feel weak and helpless. Cole held Peter liable for the attack because he thought he was right because Peter told on him. Question 3: The story “Touching Spirit Bear” is realistic to life to some extent. In real life there are programs that offer other institutions besides Jail. These other institutions try to offer help to the abusers in different ways. The Circle of Justice in “Touching Spirit Bear” shows that for some people, treatment is offered because the abusers may have once been victims themselves to violence.
Cole was an abused kid himself; his father used violence to change his behavior. So Cole decided to use violence himself because he learned it at home. The Circle of Justice and being on the island helped him identify and change his behavior, which is part of repairing the harm he caused. This is one of the principles of restorative Justice. Another principle of restorative Justice is to find a solution that not only help the victim but also work with island is consider unconstitutional, so our Justice system cannot do these actions. The Justice system has other ways of dealing with criminals in todays society.
The sland in Touching Spirit Bear symbolizes alternative methods of helping abusers face their problems and try to fix them. Sometimes these methods are effective but it depends on the person who is the abuser and how much that person wants to change. There are some abusers that can get help and there are some abusers who will not change and must be incarcerated to stop them from committing crimes. There is no completely perfect solution to resolve every criminal case, and no method that is practical and effective for everybody. Our society has norms and expectations that people follow that define the meaning of right and wrong.