To Kill a Mockingbird

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One doesn’t love breathing.”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

I had an inclass essay in my English today on any book that I’ve ever read in high school and in that inclass essay, it was recommended that I use quotes. So, of course I used the word “recommended” to mean “only if you really, really want to,” and the only quote that I actually memorized was this one.

Sure, it didn’t help me at all (the prompt was about the conflict between responsibility and a character’s passion or fury), but I am glad that I memorized because it is a really sweet quote that I think applies to all literati very well.

Have a great weekend!

The Awakening

“She would, through habit, have yielded to his desire; not with any sense of submission or obedience to his compelling wishes, but unthinkingly, as we walk, move, sit, stand, go through the daily treadmill of the life which has been portioned out to us.”
The Awakening by Kate Chopin

I’ve been feeling a lot like this lately. Get up, go to school, smile fake smiles, go home, rest, repeat. Maybe the absence of stress allows boredom and the realization of one’s loneliness to creep in.

Haha, this should not be in my inspiration section; this should be in my depressing thoughts section. Hope I didn’t completely bum you out 🙂

But this book is actually quite good so far, and I hope that, through the main character’s progression in the novel, I’ll get some inspiration to change a few things in my own life. I really can’t wait to find out what happens to her in the rest of the book. In fact, what am I doing here blogging when I could be reading? 🙂

 

Catch-22

“Colonel Cathcart was impervious to absolutes. He could measure his own progress only in relationship to others, and his idea of excellence was to do something at least as well as all the men his own age who were doing the same thing better. The fact that there were thousands of men his own age and older who had not even attained the rank of major enlivened him with foppish delight in his own remarkable worth; on the other hand, the fact that there were men of how own age and younger who were already generals contaminated him with an agonizing sense of failure and made him gnaw at his fingernails with an unappeasable anxiety that was even more intense than Hungry Joe’s”
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Although there are many more great quotations from Catch-22, this one pretty much sums up my entire high school career. We all compare our test grades and secretly feel both incredible for getting higher than some people and dismal for getting a lower score than other people. We talk about colleges and are elated when it turns out that we got in to a certain school, and then we feel bad when the school we got into wasn’t as good as the school someone else got into.

We all go crazy by comparing ourselves, and all of our conversations are either about what colleges different people got into, or they are about how annoyed we are that all of our conversations are about what colleges different people got into.

I’m so sick of this craziness, and I’m sick of all of these comparisons that are going on. Thankfully, I got into the college of my dreams, and since the college of my dreams is relatively unknown at my school, I’m out of the whole college comparison craziness right now. No one except for my friends care that I got in, and they only care because they are genuinely happy for me, not because they are jealous.

I just hope that college and life in general isn’t like that. I don’t want to be Colonel Cathcart. I don’t want to be any character from Catch-22 because, while they are hilarious, they are all a little bit crazy. Except for Yossarian. He’s crazy, but crazy in a sane way. I know that doesn’t make sense at all, but I guess that’s how Catch-22 is.

Heart of Darkness

“He cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: “The horror! The horror!”
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I personally wasn’t that big of a fan of Heart of Darkness compared to some of my classmates, but what a tragic, fitting last sentence for Kurtz. And what irony to think that, for someone who carried the power of eloquence and had “the gift of expression,” his last words were merely a repetition of two simple, although poignant, words.

The Elegance of The Hedgehog

“Maybe that’s what life is about: there’s a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. It’s as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never. Yes, that’s it, an always within never.”
—The Elegance of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbary 

"joy in a camellia on moss"

Never does this book fail to make me burst into tears and also smile at the beauty that the world holds. Yes, life can be hard, but instead of focusing on that, I will look for that “always within never,” those moments where everything seems to fit into one piece and, for a brief second, everything is beautiful and perfect…. divine.