Anthem Reaction

At the end of it all, I am rather surprised by this book. I originally read it because I saw it as a challenge and I knew no one else would want it. I have heard people complain about not only this particular book but the author herself. Admittedly, I felt a bit intrigued by this analysis from others. I have grown up reading older books and have seen other people dislike books like that because of how alien the topics, language, beliefs, and other elements of the story can be to them when compared to more modern literature. If this was the case with this book, there seemed a chance I could actually appreciate and like it.

The thing that surprised me the most was my own level of liking of it. Generally, with books, I end up liking the base moral structure or lesson that the book is teaching, more so than the plot of the story. Often the plot can be dry, boring,  or just does not convey the meaning very well. This time was the opposite. I felt that the plot itself was well executed, even going so far as to eliminate the word “I” in nearly the entire novel. What I did not like was the moral that is blatantly revealed at the end. The very last chapter is basically a summary of how the character’s beliefs have changed and then explains to us that they now focus on one aspect of humanity: Ego. I feel that this is a bad lesson to be teaching, to focus on your ego. The world does not need more ego in it and we should not promote this worship of ego.

Image from HashtagHappy Inc

While I was reading it, I thought the lesson was about needing independence and freedoms. That was fine by me, I agree that independence and freedom are wholesome ideals to have. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I learned what the author’s true intent was. Even though I still liked the plot, I felt a bit slighted by such a disappointing moral. I was built up to expect one set of morals and instead got another set that society as a whole frowns upon. Society isn’t right all the time (a bit of an understatement there), but I agree that ego is not a thing to be building up.

I empathized with the main character Prometheus. He felt like he was bad because he was different from others. He struggled against society’s blindness and tried to define himself as an individual in a world where that was considered a sin of the highest degree. I admire and connect with characters that learn and grow. I can relate to characters who grow through their experiences and become a better person through it.

Would I recommend this book? This is a tricky question in relation to this particular piece of literature. If you’re a sophomore and want a stab at a scholarship, then sure, go ahead. There is a scholarship for this book online for sophomores and I think it’s a decent reason to read this book. Outside of that? Depends on who it is. If they are wanting a book with a good philosophical basis, then absolutely not. This book has a pretty lousy philosophical mentality and would be a waste of time in that direction. I liked the plot, but others who are more accustomed to modern literature would probably not be very interested in it for story content. As a whole, I would probably not recommend this book because of its philosophical basis.

 

From Then to Now: The Evolution of a Short Story

Well, these past few weeks, our class has been working on our first short story.

Most people expect some things to change and develop when writing a short story. So what changed in mine?

Everything.

Literally everything.

First off, I originally planned on using the six-word story “No taxidermist loved his daughter more.” However, I felt that any story based on that was a bit expected and I felt a bit restricted with that. I then switched to the “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn” for some more pliability of the story basis and more creative freedom. This would be the short story I would continue to use up until the final draft.

Then came the plot. I wanted to involve something about healing. This led me to the idea of healing from the unexpected loss of a child. However, this idea involved the conveying of very complex emotions. I didn’t want to do a bad job at that, but to truly be able to do that degree of emotion, you need quite a bit longer time frame and a longer story. For fear of compromising good writing in order to meet the required deadline, I decided to switch to a simpler story.

My original set-up of the story was in third person limited omniscience. I felt like my new story could be better told in a different format, however. This prompted me to switch to a diary format to provide the thoughts and opinions of the main character better.

As for my independent reading, I have already completed my first book. I enjoyed the base story of it, but not the philosophy behind it all. One way that my first book choice is affecting my second book choice is that I will not be reading another story from that particular author.

 


Image from: Teachers Pay Teachers