Why I Read Essay

1297 words - 6 pages

"Why did you read all four books?" a peer asked me after I revealed my summer reading list. "Well," I said, "I thought they would punish me if I didn't." Was this a total lie to get someone off my back, or was it the truth? While it was probably a combination of both, I decided I read for myself. I read to find out about the issues I had been struggling with, like time and humanity. To have feelings that I have never experienced and to escape. With these books I was no longer a scared middle-class white boy from Tennessee, and though it may be cheesy, I was anyone, anywhere.


The issue of time has caught my attention since reading Siddhartha. I desperately want to understand ...view middle of the document...

While personal existence may seem unimportant, Celie from The Color Purple brings across an important statement, " I'm poor, I'm black, I may be ugly... But I am here." While the past, future, and present may seem incredibly small, it's all we have. The young men from West Virginia in Rocket Boys notice this once Sonny decides it is time to enter their rockets into the science fair. The Big Creek Missile Agency goes into overtime researching basic rocketry and physics. Time is limited. While limits on time could be questioned, since God controls time, humans naturally place boundaries. So these boundaries exist to us because others believe in them.


More important than finding about what ties the universe together, I found what tied me together. I became the characters in the story. I shot off rockets with Sonny, I was taken away from my family with Celie, I saw life go by in front of me in Einstein's brain, and I was a prisoner stuck in 1984. I hated Mr. in The Color Purple. As soon as I put the book down, I would find myself despising the next person who reminded me of the 'bad guy'--whether it be Sonny's father, Mr., or Big Brother. Slowly I learned how to deal with the different types of enemies, how everyone has his soft side, and the ones that don't do not really exist. Not only did I empathize with the characters, I felt sorry for myself because when I was reading, I was the character. I loved seeing myself in the character because at that moment I knew I was not alone. The issues people struggled with 50 years ago are the same ones I am facing today. I see my ideal over-achieving self staring me back when I read about Sonny. And I strive alongside Sonny trying to get into college. I gaze into the face of my rebellion when I look at Winston. Parts of me and what I hope to be were sprinkled all throughout the books. The words tied me to relationships with myself, relationships so tight that I could mentally feel the blows Winston took as the thought police beat the freedom out of him.


The modern world was reveled to me through the expression of thought in words. I realized as long as the language is expanding, thoughts can remain open. Words control thoughts. If the language is limited, the thoughts are there but are unable to be expressed and shared. Why did I memorize vocab words in middle school? So I could think. I also learned that while 1984 has passed, some of the little thought controls, like language, exist. For example, recently McDonald's heads...

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