Apr 23, 2011

My Four

I have a pretty kick ass assignment due in my English class. It could be my favorite paper I've ever been asked to write. For the final assignment of this semester we were asked to read Frankenstein and to focus on chapter 14. If you haven't read the novel, this is where the Creature finds four books (after learning how to read by creeping on the cottagers) which, after reading them, comprises of his entire education. We were then asked to evaluate Mary Shelley's choice of books, and pick four books of our own to educate our very own little creature. 

This has taken way more thought that I would have ever dreamed. I can pump out papers pretty easily, but there is something about this assignment that is making me really stop and think. I've had a hell of a time coming up with my four books. What is it that I want to teach a creature about life in the first place? Which books eloquently and adequately express those philosophies through their pages? How do I do this without sounding like a total... blowhard? I've made so many lists of books that I'm starting to worry I'm over thinking this assignment a bit too much. I've asked everyone that I know what their list of books would be looking for a bit of inspiration. Everyone has had different selections. It's just so personal, especially if you're a reader. 

Well done, professor. You've successfully provided me with a paper that has caused me to think, not bullshit. Other than fiction writing, this has been a very rare occurrence. 

So, right, my list. I'm writing it down here so I can't change it. I just have my books selected at this point, and I still need to write the actual paper... 
  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Charles Dodgson. Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
  2. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte. "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees.  My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath--a source of little visible delight, but necessary.  Nelly, I am Heathcliff!  He's always, always in my mind--not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being"
  3. Plan Bee - Susan Brackney "As I idly watch them fly from flower to flower and from flower to hive, I realize they have managed to slow my previously frenetic pace, to make me more appreciative of the workings of the universe, and to return me, at least a little bit, to simpler times."
  4. A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson. "It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you."



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