In Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher, the major decisions Antwone makes in his youth helps him become a successful person. Antwone grew up as a foster child and took care of himself. He didn’t understand these concepts of “foster”. “For a long time we never heard anything about the Pickett’s being foster parents and there was no question but that they were our mother and father.” (Fisher 53). He was constantly abused physical and mentally with no positive reinforcement. No matter how hard life gets, Antwone still works through it.
Leaving the Pickett house was the first decision he made that would help him greatly in the future. He basically had to brainwash himself. To succeed he has to forget everything Ms. Pickett, his foster mother, has told him. “Like that person who lies so much about something he eventually doesn’t know the truth of it anymore, I saw that if I could learn to convince others that my future wasn’t hopeless, in time I could convince myself.” (238). Antwone gets so used to being abused physically and mentally, he gets a very low self-esteem. After awhile the physical abuse wasn’t as bad as the mental abuse. Finally Antwone fights back against Ms. Pickett. When he is kicked out, he takes his opportunity to get out of there.
At sixteen years old, capable of making his own decisions, he attends the rest of high school at reform school. Even though he didn’t do anything wrong it offered child care services. He knows school is important so he jumps a grade to finish by the time he is eighteen. Being on his own he learns what he needs to do. “When you’re eighteen, you’ll be on your own. You need to have a plan.” (243). His only plan is to get his diploma. “By Christmastime, I had succeeded in earning the right to graduate with the seniors.” (255). After graduation, with his adolescence ending and no plan on what to do, Antwone is alone once again in the world.
Antwone returns to Cleveland and begins delivering drugs for a drug dealer he met. He knows he has to get out and far from there. “And at the bottom, in bold, inviting type, was the phrase that really got me: Join the Navy, See the World.” (281). The navy is everything that Antwone needs. It provides him a home, money, and a chance to get out of where he was, far away. It is his perfect escape. Not only was the navy all of those things but it helped his self-esteem. “But boot camp gave me a new self-image. I found out that I was average, academically and athletically.” (287). All of his life he was told he was worth nothing, and he was nothing. The navy showed him otherwise.
Antwone becomes successful on his own decisions. Basically alone all of his life he still manages to survive and succeed. He accomplishes everything that he needs and wants to accomplish. After the military he finds his family and makes one of his own. Nonetheless, he is happy.
Since then he has written great poetry like Who Will Cry For the Little Boy. His poetry book is very meaningful and I would recommend it to everyone.
Written by Matthew Henrickson