I cannot believe the ending to the book The Water is Wide. I thought surly Conroy’s experiences and opportunities would have been a positive thing for all people in Yamacraw. This was not the case. Conroy was dismissed from his teaching job and this is truly unfair. Throughout the story, Conroy provides many stories of lessons and activities he created to better the student’s lives. I could practically feel his passion for teaching run through my veins while reading his story. His intentions while on Yamacraw Island were purely to help the children.
The allegations against Conroy were not true and played up. The only things that Conroy could not deny were the allegations the school system arose. The reasons and actions taken were out of Conroy’s hands. The people in charge were not looking at the whole picture. They did not want to look at the difference Conroy had made in his students lives. Rather, they wanted to use their power in every way possible to make a statement. They used their power against Conroy and the students of Yamacraw. The people in power and the school board were not looking out for the students; they were looking out for themselves. It was truly heart aching to hear that Conroy was fired.
The most touching part about the end of the book was when the student’s parents came to defend Conroy. All the women in the town decided to boycott the school even after being threatened financially. This shows that just because Conroy did not follow the traditional teaching methods, he did make a difference in his student’s lives.
I chose the last sentence in the book because it made me cry my eyes out. It said “For them I leave a single prayer: that the river is good to them in the crossing.” I think that this is very symbolic in the fact that it relates the students physically crossing and also reaching their goals. Conroy knows that it might be hard for them to leave the island and reach their dreams. He also knows that physically it might be hard for them to cross the river. Either way he wishes the best for his former students of Yamacraw.
I love this book because I felt that Conroy’s students were not the only ones positively affected by Conroy. I think that his students also helped Conroy become a better person as well. Both the students and Conroy were influence by each others presence. I hope that I feel the same way when I have my own class.