I read this back in high school for my AP English class. Yeesh. Where do I begin? I was first attracted to it as a blessedly upfront dialogue with gri...moreI read this back in high school for my AP English class. Yeesh. Where do I begin? I was first attracted to it as a blessedly upfront dialogue with gritty language after abandoning David Copperfield in disgust. What do you know? He makes a funny little reference against the Charles Dickens monstrocity in the first few sentences. That almost gets Salinger one more star from me on principal.
However, I can't say that the interest stuck. This book is the epitome of depression-filled, angsty gobbledygook that high schools shove down teenagers throats in an effort to make them think deep thoughts - or to attempt to relate to them somehow. It's true that there were many times that I felt depressed and alienated in high school. Somehow reading about it in literature did nothing for any sort of need for me. Maybe it does for some people, but I think it was bad enough dealing with it in reality than reading some dismal thing and exploring its dark depths of depravity.
I really don't know why they advertise such emotionally unstable stuff to a group of people with raging hormones anyway. I'm not saying to ban it. People should be able to read what they want. I just don't think it should be required reading. It seems to be fuel for more depression.
I mean this in sardonic facetiousness: it's not the swearing dialogue, or the character's behavior that makes it so inappropriate. It's the fact that one might want to slash their wrists after this read. We always talked about how we're supposed to talk about and reflect how literature affects us in school. Then we wonder why a huge percentage of people are pumped up on prozac and other happy pills. :P(less)
I don't know if I can say that anyone can like reading this book. It's such a painful thing to hear this one story that matches the fate of so many. S...moreI don't know if I can say that anyone can like reading this book. It's such a painful thing to hear this one story that matches the fate of so many. Six million people were exterminated during the Holocaust. Yet, however difficult and tragic this is, it's something that everyone should read.
We are all faced to ask questions like "How could God allow this to happen?" and find our own answers. Elie had difficulty with his own. Yet, I must ask myself as well, "How could a society, or a military, or people do this to each other?" Man has great potential for evil, and this book demonstrates the results of that horrendous time. Why? Religion? Race?
May ignorance, suspicion, hate and pompous superiority never lead mankind to this level again. I hope that is not being optimistic. (less)