Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Until Now....

Up until this point in our class, what themes can you guys think of that all the literature we have read has in common? Is there something (whether it be the actual stories or more generally) that they all share? What kind of themes could we discuss towards the end of the semester that encompasses all the material we've read and will have read?

I haven't really put much thought into this question, but I'd say in three (or so) books now, we've read about a strong, independent female protagonist who ends up winding in trouble or causing it. Two, there are consequences for the actions we take or do not take. Three, New Mexico is the place to be if you want to a good, credible story (apparently!). Four, first person voice makes it more difficult but more interesting for the reader to understand and therefore immerse his/herself in the story plot. Finally, the world craves action, adventure, mystery, magic, and romance in today's age.

Why might that be? Why does our generation not all of a sudden take a strong interest in history, or music, or math? Is it because we are dissatisfied with the current state of things today, and seek to escape into fictional worlds our minds can create with ease? (That was a mini rant!) And why are authors so eager to please their audience this way? Why can't they break the rules and write something that exceeds all other expectations? What does everyone else think?


  1. Good question, and I hadn't even thought about connecting the themes of any of them. But now that you mention it, there has been a streak of "strong, independent female protagonists," like Mari and Loretta, and (as I understand it), the protagonist in Box Office Poison (though I did not read that one). Most of the protagonists in the stories in X & O were also females who tended not to cling to men very much. I don't know what this might mean, other than a general cultural shift where readers are more accepting of damsels getting themselves out of distress.
    I agree that first-person POV is often useful for immersing the reader in the story plot, but isn't necessary. Sometimes, a character is more richly developed and better appreciated from outside their head.
    I don't think that craving fiction is an anamoly of our generation, nor is it directly correlated to interests in other purely fact-based subjects like math and history. Sometimes it's just more fun to explore other people's imaginations and creations for a while.

  2. I noticed that too that there are strong female characters in the different novels we read and in many of the short works in X & O. I like what you said Emma about this cultural shift that writers and readers might be taking. The views of women and the roles of women are changing and becoming more prominent characters in literature.

    I like what you said Jaime that New Mexico is the place to have a good story. I do love New Mexico it is always going to be home and I get excited when they film a movie, T.V. show here or someone mentions our name in a movie or a song. Now there is literature that encompasses the setting of New Mexico and the beauty it has and the stories that could be told here.

    I really enjoy reading first person. I sometime don’t even know that I’m reading in first person, because I’m so immersed in the story or I just don’t care to notice. For me writing in first person is easier for me and comes naturally and I think it can make the story more relatable and the reader becomes a character in the story regardless of gender. Not to say that third person is not a good way to go, but for me has its own challenges.

    I think we crave adventure, fantasy, mystery because it is different from our daily lives. It’s an escape from reality for a second, and it is not a bad thing, just to take a quick break to go on an adventure. I think when it comes to history it can be incorporated in novels and non-fiction, but when it comes to music and math I think they are totally different mediums. Music is supposed to be listened to and math is something to solve and use a bunch of scratch paper. Yes I agree that unfortunately most people do not take a fancy to music, the arts or math because it is boring to them or they do not understand it and it frustrates them. But I see your point and it would be interesting for someone to take those concepts and incorporate them into a story.


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