Who Has the Right?

In class this morning Dr. Scanlon posed the question (and I’m paraphrasing here) “does Helen Zenna Smith have the right to write about a war she wasn’t actively involved in?” I’m curious about what everyone thinks. I think that because HZS based the story on a first-person account, she DOES have the authority to write about the war. Does anyone agree? Disagree?

163 thoughts on “Who Has the Right?

  1. I think she has the right because it is based on the diaries of a real person and she was doing it in the place of that person since they did not want to. I can understand that the diary owner likely did not want to relive the war if this was how their story went, and based on how the family acts, it appears she likely had no one to relate to after it happened as her mother seems to just see her as a bargaining chip. Without any support to help her, I can understand why she would prefer someone else to write it instead.

  2. I think that she does have the right to write this story because it is the telling of a story based on the actual events and records of another woman. It is not like this piece is completely fictional, to where if that was the case I think I would have different feelings. But since this is based on a resource and a woman who lived this life, I think Smith has the right to do so, just like all these other authors out here now writing biographies about historical figures and famous individuals based on primary and secondary resources. This is just a creative snip-it of a biography.

  3. It is hard to say because I am one who would prefer it to be written by someone who actually experienced the war. I feel like that in a way makes it more authentic. However, she did write about the experiences from the diary of the real person. So it is not like it is fictional and for this reason I think she does have a right but it still really bothers me that it was someone else who experienced the war and not herself.

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