Sunday, November 27, 2011


Yes, I would most definitely recommend this story to other AP Lang students. One, because the story is very moving and touching, and it is just overall a great read. Yet, it might not be for some because there are a few disturbing moments when Jaycee describes a few events. Nonetheless, the story definitely kept me on my feet, and it kept me wanting to read more and more! It can even help someone understand that no matter what, in any situation, people should have faith, no matter what is going on! Therefore, I recommend it because it is an inspirational story and I believe many will enjoy it as I did.


            A Stolen Life is a sad, yet amazing story about a young girl who is kidnapped at the age of eleven. The girl, named Jaycee Lee Dugard, was just an ordinary girl, who lived an ordinary life until one day; she was kidnapped by a man with the name Phillip Garrido. That was the moment where everything changed for her. Throughout the book, Jaycee relives every moment she spent in that hell-hole where her kidnapper Phillip had kept her. She explains the cruel and unusual things that Phillip had put her through. And the way he and his wife Nancy manipulated Jaycee into thinking that she was now a part of their lives forever. Jaycee was held captive for eighteen unbearable years, and never once did she lose all hope. Jaycee had birthed two children, both whom were also children to her rapist, Phillip. Even so, Jaycee loved them unconditionally, even if they did not know she was their true mother.  
            In the story, Jaycee placed journal entries, which gave a glimpse of what she was feeling while she was being held captive. And throughout these entries, the audience should be able to tell that she was confused, scared, alone, tired, weak, etc. Jaycee tries to bring her audience that sense of feeling that she had experienced to make the book much more realistic, because it isn’t every day that something like this happens. Not only does she put journal entries, but she also does reflections sometimes throughout chapters. These reflections give the audience the feelings that stir up when Jaycee recalls certain memories that she has. And these reflections definitely add on to the audience’s understanding of some situations. Therefore, they are quite helpful.

Best Chapter of the Book!

In my opinion the best chapter of the book would have to be the one titled "Pretending to Be a Family." I believe this is the best part of the book because for a moment, only a short moment, it really does seem as if Phillip got what he wanted. And what he wanted so badly was to make a family. In this chapter, it explains all the things they do such as watching fireworks together, going to the beach together, and even going shopping together. But the ironic and sad part about it is that, they never really were a family. Nancy and Philip were just these sick minded people who needed to get a life of there own, but somehow they couldn't. So instead they took Jaycee's life away from her, and turned into their own little fantasy world. And this interested me so much because it makes me question, what is going on with humanity? People are so scary sometimes.

An Important Page That Shows the Author's Tone!

One of the most important pages to me would be page 186. It's one of the pages that holds journal entries that Jaycee would write in secret about anything that was on her mind. This page holds a very sorrowful tone, along with a very questioning tone. Jaycee also gives off a tone of loneliness, as if she has no one and nothing to live for. As if she is beginning to question whether or not life would be better if she hadn't been taken.

10 Significant Events!

1.) The first significant event is the moment when Jaycee is kidnapped by Phillip. It is obvious as to why this event has such a significance. Because if it didn't happen, well then, this book would have never been written, and Jaycee might have been just another person that lived a normal life.
2.) The second significant event would had to have been the first time that Jaycee was raped. Why? Well because it was only the beginning of the torture that she would soon endure. And it was the one event that changed her perspective on things, and even after the matter, she still had hope. She wasn't going to give up that easily.
3.) The third event would probably be when Phillip brought Jaycee her first kitty. This holds significance because it is the first animal out of very many animals that Phillip will give to her, and these animals are what keep Jaycee company and they mean quite a bit to her. They made Jaycee feel loved.
4.) The fourth event was the first time that Phillip went on a "run." And no, these aren't normal runs, these are times when Phillip gets high on "crank" and puts Jaycee through a series of different, sickening-sexual events. These "runs" hold significance because it helps the audience to realize what a sick man Phillip is, and what Jaycee was put through.
5.) The fifth event would be when Phillip introduces his wife Nancy to Jaycee. This is very significant because it's crazy that she was in on this kidnapping! And Nancy never really did anything to help Jaycee escape! Wow, what a crazy lady.
6.) The sixth event would be when Jaycee finds out that she is pregnant with her first baby at the age of 13, on Easter Sunday in 1994. This is significant because this baby will grow to be one of the most important parts of Jaycee's life. Not only that, but it's important because it showed that Jaycee didn't care if her rapist was the father of the child.
7.) The seventh event would be when Jaycee again finds out that she is pregnant with her second child. The significance of this is that, when this child is born, it will be taught that Nancy is the mother and not Jaycee. Along with the first baby, she too will be taught that Jaycee is just a sister.
8.) The eighth event would be when  Jaycee and Nancy go out for the first time for an "outing," it is when they go and get their nails done. Why is this significant? Well because it is really one of the first times that Jaycee will be let out, and because no one notices her. Knowing that no one knew she was, Jaycee began to feel like she invisible, and she slowly began to lose hope.
9.) The ninth event would be when Phillip kept getting new parole officers. This held significance because at one point in time, one of them meets Jaycee. But the parole officer has no idea that she was being held captive, and Jaycee didn't really try to inform him about it.
10.) The tenth even would be when Jaycee went with Phillip and Nancy, along with the children, to Phillip's meeting with the parole officer. There, everything would change. They investigated Jaycee and then found out that she was in fact the girl who had been kidnapped for so long. Jaycee was now free.

Two Important Places In the Story!

First of all, in my opinion, the most important place of all, is the bus-stop where Phillip had stolen Jaycee. Why is this? Well, because it was the place where everything began. And if Jaycee wasn't there at that time and in that place, none of the events would have occurred, and Jaycee would have lived a normal life. But since she was there, it was the place where Phillip pulled over in his car, grabbed Jaycee, shocked her with a taser gun, and brought her into his car. And from there on, he drove to the second key important place in the story, his home.
As they arrived at his home, he brought Jaycee into a part of his backyard that he described as "the studio," it was dark at first, and was a very small room, with little lighting due to the fact that there were towels to cover the windows. It had two heavy-looking tables in two corners of the room which had carpet on the legs, both which had equipment used for making music on top. The walls are made up of some sort of wood. This is the place where Jaycee is forced to stay and it is also the place where Jaycee is first raped. As sickening as that may sound, it is the truth, and it is a place that Jaycee will not forget. From that moment, it also becomes her home, where she will spend the majority of the time until Phillip brings her to another part of the yard called "next door." But that's for the audience to read about.