The Scholarship Jacket

“The Scholarship Jacket” is one of those masterpieces that are extremely important to read for the individuals who believe in their goals and despite the obstacles and challenges want to achieve them. Actually, the story has helped to pay my attention to many moral values. Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to provide a personal response to the reading of the short story “The Scholarship Jacket” by Martha Salinas.

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Irrespective of any society, century and country, people have always been after some materialistic things, the possession of which helped many individuals to feel themselves more comfortable. The moral values and ethical beliefs have sometimes been unintentionally erased because of such vision of money. The story that I have recently read is another example of such situation. It is written on behalf of a fourteen-year-old Mexican girl whose name is Martha. She used to study in the school that had competitive rewarding system, the most alluring part of which was a Scholarship jacket that was given as a reward to the best-performing students. The main purpose of it was to express a gratitude and recognition. However, as the story evolves, it is obvious that this noble aim has been twisted and the jacket has become a valuable prize. Martha mentioned that she had never had an opportunity to dress finely. Besides, her sister, who won the jacket once, wanted to have it not only as a sign of reward, but also as the only nice thing she owned (Salinas, 2008). After reading this paragraph, I have spotted that Martha firstly did not understand the real value of what she was winning by getting knowledge. Anyway, it is normal for girls (and other family members) to want certain things that their families could not afford.

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The other piece of the plot that has shocked me was the behavior of Mr. Boone and Mr. Schmidt, when they were having a discussion about who should get the jacket. Unfortunately, the ‘veiled corruption’ exists in many forms. Hence, Mr. Boone wanted the jacket to be given to Joann even though she did not deserve it. The thing was her father was more influential than Martha’s. Martha was Mexican and a daughter of a farm laborer, who did not have neither much money nor authority in the society while Joann’s father had it all. Mr. Boone has showed himself as one of those, who put moral values and beliefs aside. Thus, in this part of the plot, I was not particularly happy with the behavior of Mr. Schmidt. Even though he was quarrelling with Mr. Boone about the unfair situation, he eventually agreed to ask Martha to pay fifteen dollars for the jacket, and if she disagreed, it would be given to the next one. The intention was to make her not to take it due to money issue and veil it under the need to cover the cost of the jacket. This means that Mr. Schmidt wanted to avoid responsibility and could not tell the truth to the girl. However, by the end of the story, he had a change of heart and acted as a noble man, who regretted what he did and arranged that the jacket would be given to Martha.

The most important idea of the story is within Martha’s inner world and her gradual understanding that a person might get a materialistic thing, but will not get a knowledge or other moral values with that. Joann might get a jacket, but it was Martha who really won the scholarship due to hard work and perseverance. She was the one who deserved it and the title meant nothing as the time goes and the life shows what is really important. Sooner or later, the jacket would remain just a piece of clothing and nothing else. This is what grandfather wanted Martha to understand. He did not give her fifteen dollars not only because he did not have them, but because it was not something that really mattered.

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In conclusion, I would like to mention that the reading was particularly interesting in style, as it was written in first-person point of view. Moreover, it includes things that are not directly stated and the reader is to make inferences (Thinkcentral.com).

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