Trust and Doubt

As I was trying to find inspiration for my last blog post I started thinking about all the things that we have been doing in class and what would be best fit to end my last blog post. In class we have been talking about Big Machine by Victor LaValle and the class was asked to each come up with one question that we think the book seems to be raising. There was a whole range of questions; a lot of the class thought of questions that included doubt and I thought mine went along with this topic. My question was “Who can you trust in the world, or are you alone?” A lot of people seemed to rephrase this question, focusing on the word doubt instead of trust, but fundamentally asking the same concept. I feel that doubt is the exact word that I could use that would go along with my question, if I rephrased it. So far, we have only read up to chapter 78 of the 81 that is in this book and we have seen multiple characters talk about trust and doubt in a way that links them.

Throughout the book we have seen many characters talk about how they don’t trust other people; especially each other. I have noticed in many instances the characters that don’t trust one another are the ones who have gone through the most. The book mentions that Mr. Washburn, also known as Snooky, trusted Solomon Clay and it was shown that Snooky also trusted Adele Henry because he gave her his gun. But she broke that trust when she shot him and killed him. Trust is hard to come by and when trust is lost, it is shown in LaValle’s characters that it’s hard to get back.

Ms. Henry and Ricky both don’t trust each other throughout the whole story, and it is shown with the way they act around each other. They don’t talk and they bicker a lot. But in order for them to work together better, they needed to start trusting one another. Ms. Henry asks Ricky what she could do to earn his trust and he decides that if she got him to the hospital. Throughout the story you can see them grow together and start trusting one another. The biggest example I found so far is how Ms. Henry trusted Ricky with her story of how she got to where she is.

Through reading this story I’ve learned that trust is a big concept, but also it goes hand in hand with doubt. Looking into these two valuable words I have come to find that when we have no trust or when we have distrust, we therefore have doubt. This is shown in the Psych Website with Dr. Shannon Cutts, who explains in detail how if we change distrust to doubt, you can work on building trust. Before I researched this, I would have considered distrust and doubt to have the same meaning, but Cutts explains that trust is hard to come by and we shouldn’t distrust someone but instead try to turn that distrust into doubt. Doubt makes someone curious and willing to work, while distrust makes you scared and not put faith in people. An example from Big Machine would be that Ricky doubted Ms. Henry for a large portion of the story and therefore he didn’t trust her when they were together. But as he learns about her, he starts to trust her more and the same is true for Ms. Henry. Now we see them talking to one another and working together. In the same way that Ricky and Ms. Henry begin to trust each other by telling their stories, the stories we have read in class seem to be making connections and encouraging trust between our class as a whole.

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