What beliefs might we change about Smeagol if we knew his story? "While we seek to tell students' stories, we do not take a neutral position with regard to the outcome" (Kennedy-Lewis et al., 2016, p. 4).
THERE & BACK AGAIN: A TALE OF NARRATIVE INQUIRY MATCHING THE PROBLEM
But in order for us to understand Smeagol we will have to really delve into his story. We will have to interpret what he tells us along with Gandalf's knowledge of him.
If we do not try to have an "adult understanding" of Smeagol then I won't be able to work with such a difficult companion (Kennedy-Lewis et al., 2016, p. 4).
Smeagol believes that an "injustice has occurred" therefore we must use an "interpretive biography" in order to make sense of his story and then code the information to make connections and conclusions (Kennedy-Lewis et al., 2016, p. 4-5).
I know we have biases and our perceptions/lens may color Smeagol's story but if we use "probing questions to elicit additional responses", collect data over time, and compare our notes with coding, then we can gain a better understanding (Kennedy-Lewis et al., 2016, p. 10).
So Smeagol has a similar background to our own but circumstances make him react to situations in a different manner than we would? Seeing his drawings and hearing his encounters with the adults in his life really helped me understand him and the problem he is facing.
With the knowledge given us by the stories and our intrepreted understanding, we can destroy the ring that binds our perceptions about our frequent-flyer Smeagol's challenging behavior. We can therefore take away our label and inclination to withhold support of Smeagol (Kennedy-Lewis et al., 2016).
Now that I have all these "in-depth descriptions" I can continue my writing with the knowledge that "actively positioning [companions] as successes rather than failures could reduce the number of lost opportunities that result from exclusionary discipline" which was only achievable through the narrative journey I took with Samwise Gamgee and Smeagol (Kenney-Lewis et al., 2016, p. 25).