So today I'm going to tell you something odd I discovered while working on reading more of the books on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. I think I've matured as a reader. To explain what I mean, I must explain that as a kid and teenager, I read a lot. I would check out a book in the morning and return it, read at night (ok bad thing, I should have been paying attention in class instead of reading but... reading is good right?) But I didn't do that well in English class, because I liked reading the "story" I didn't want to think about themes, symbolism etc. I just wanted a story.
As an adult, I wanted to escape. (Probably why I kind of avoid scary stories) I "enter" the book and not be in the present. So I wanted a story that sucked you in. I never read to "think" , I read to "not think". Well, because of various things I heard about Lewis Carroll I read an acclaimed biography before reading Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. I read the annotated versions of these (which had a lot of the background I had gotten from the biography)
In Alice in Wonderland, I found Alice to be really obnoxious. Eating and drinking stuff that wasn't hers. Ok the first two things were labeled eat me and drink me, but when she drank the potion off the rabbit's nightstand and then inflated to ruin his house it clearly belonged to someone else. When she just invited herself to the Mad Hatter's tea party plopping down uninvited. She just whined her way through the book. Someone needed to slap her.
In Through the Looking Glass, she is less whiny, and not as bratty. She is however, seem very disdainful of the other characters she encountered on the chessboard on her way to becoming a queen. She expected them to give her all kinds of answers (which as players in the same game they seemed quite confused about) and then she acted annoyed about having to stay and listen to what they had to say/recite/sing until she could get away from them to the next square. A snot nosed, presumptuous brat who still hasn't gotten the spanking she deserves. I would not have noticed this had I read them earlier. They just would have been fun fanciful stories.
I am now 80% done with Lady Chatterley's Lover. Where as before it would have been a great love story, with some historical backdrops, it seems as if the actual love story is a very thin, veiled cover for a condemnation of the industrial revolution. That the new industrial way of life is causing a piece of humanity to die, leading us all to be half corpses, who are disconnected from ourselves as well as our surroundings. That due to this disconnect we do not actually know who we are, or what we want, our intuition and true feelings have been eliminated, so we search for "success" or for "money". This whole thinking while reading thing is - disturbing to say the least. Especially becasue it was a feeling of disconnectedness, that has led to this whole Project Me endeavor.