Welcome to another installment of my mini series! I have to read some classics for my English class this year and I thought it would be fun to review them here. I review them like I do normally and remove the lens I use for class. Reading this book was a very long experience haha. Trigger warnings: racism, addiction, fatphobia, suicide, sexism
I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this one. I swung between wanting to talk about how angry it made me in full and just wanting to leave everything alone. So, I’m going to try and do a little bit of both. I’m going to try and look at things objectively since a lot of the problems I had with it were because of the way it was taught. I’ll touch on that, but it won’t be the whole post haha.
This book has a lot wrong with it. There are too many bad aspects to it. It piles on and on and it does nothing to get better. I was not expecting to it be so blatantly racist. It’s so much so that I’m floored nothing has changed or I haven’t heard about it before? It made me so angry. Then there’s the sexism, the fatphobia, the addiction, the ending, and the whole sexual aspect. It’s so much. I get the historical context and I get that it’s supposed to make people uncomfortable, but there has to be better ways to achieve that doesn’t go through all that to get there.
If I try and put all the gross content aside (I’m not sure if that’s possible, but I’m going to try), I think I can understand what it’s trying to. I get the theme and I can almost respect wanting to show this society and wanting to make people uncomfortable. It’s terrifying to think about how this world got to how it is and what it would be like to live in it. There’s a lot going on and a lot that causes good discussion. But the gross content is too there and too big.
I did not like how this book was taught. The problematic content was brushed over. It was said to be problematic and then we moved on. “It’s a product of it’s time.” I wish it was condemned more than it was.
I guess I understand the book and I can understand why people like it. I can even understand why it’s studied in schools. But, there are so many other books that can bring up the same conversations in better ways. The Fever King by Victoria Lee or The Hunger Games. Or at least give students a warning at the content they are going to be reading, cause it gets really heavy.
Overall, this book was really weird. I would love, love to hear your thoughts if you have read it! I’d love to hear other people’s opinions cause there is a lot of pretty much everything in this book and it’d be cool to get opinions from lots of people!
Thank you for reading!