I have to admit, it’s been a struggle to push myself to this blank page on Word Press for the past couple of weeks. Remote learning has drained all there is out of me and replaced my eyeballs with glitchy cameras thanks to the blue glare. I’ve been so exhausted that I developed a stye in my left eye and ended up purchasing blue light glasses to manage the headaches. I was having trouble getting myself to this site to write about something that resonated with me because in all honesty, I hadn’t been seeing much that’s worth expanding and analyzing. It’s a new raucous every day in the news, more racist Karens in the media, and an alarming spread of evil that has now plagued everyone’s decisions this November.
Anyway, enough negativity; there is actually a point to this seemingly extraneous personal information. I realized that I couldn’t find meaning in my surroundings because I wasn’t looking close enough. I had developed a relapsing case of boredom and lack of motivation and failed to see the creativity that had been right in front of my internet-diseased eyes this whole time: literature.
The week before school started, I had decided to embark on a miniature reading project that required me to re-read my favorite freshman year book series and trilogies (don’t worry… I’m writing a review on those later). These books were, of course, under my current reading level, but not long after I read the first couple of chapters did I see the value of demonstrating this activity. I read further into not the story of my characters, but the act of re-evaluation. I have participated in AP English since the beginning of my freshman year of high school, but my reading skills have not always been at their current level. However, I’d rather call “reading skills” something different… how about hunting perspective? I mean, isn’t what the majority of reading is all about? To experience someone’s story through a different lens each time and interpreting the various lessons that the author wants to teach? I didn’t truly come to this realization until a couple of weeks ago when my favorite new english teacher had us read and analyze four short stories.
These short stories were specifically meant to confuse us as an audience, but they were also meant to help us see the value in questioning what’s directly in the text; that’s too easy. Re-reading my freshman-favorite books from an older, more mature version of myself allowed my mind to breathe in the text and exhale a new perspective on characters, lessons, and themes.
Well, why is this useful? Interpreting, analyzing, and studying various stories is merely the equivalent to recognizing that the world is not black and white. There will never be one right answer to a question, no single trait to define someone, no one lens to capture a moment. If you put in the effort, there is always another path to go down.
The world needs literature because life on paper is the only means of having people understand this idea and apply it to life outside the paper. We understand metaphors because we don’t want to recognize that we are living what horror the author is describing, but we have to own up to reality. Perspective hunting is the only way to truly make a dent in the impact we want to have. I’m advocating for a more just society in which we see reality the way we read literature: wholeheartedly and thoroughly. I see this as a way to make it easier for humanity to not just recognize the crises but also understand how to approach them.
Do right by the future and read, interpret, and re-read.