Best Worst American: Stories

Good Intentions Gone Wrong: The Connecting Factor of "Best Worst American" College

Across generations, language barriers, and cultures, there is one question that has stood the test of time: does the intent of our actions really matter if our actions have the impact of furthering the marginalization or oppression of those around us? Jamie Utt addresses this question and the arguments surrounding it in her article “Intentions Don’t Really Matter”. Utt expresses the idea that “the impact of our actions can be profound and wide-reaching. And that’s far more important than the question of our intent.” She makes readers think about how their intentions whether good or bad can lead to unwelcomed and in many cases “oppressive” (Utt) results. Furthering her stance, Utt mentions how even in everyday life we hear people apologizing for the outcome of their intentions “over and over again: ‘I never meant any harm…’ ‘It was never my intent…’” Juan Martinez, in his collection of short stories Best Worst American, explores a similar topic in “Roadblock”, “Big Wheel Boiling Hot”, and “Northern”. Martinez explores how even though characters have good intentions their intentions can still cause harm and destruction. “Roadblock”, the first short story in Martinez’s collection tells a story of a nephew and an aunt, Molly, who...

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