Brett's Reviews > I am Charlotte Simmons

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
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May 31, 07


Any girl who has ever gone through the journey of the small liberal arts big name college will know parts of Charlotte in ways that take them back to times and insecurities that are far better left forgotten. Charlotte, the brain trust of her small town, enters the world of the privledged "it's mine because I'm entitled to it" college student. It should be a coming of age tale, and it is but in the twisted way. Charlotte loses herself and every belief she held to fit in from the first day of her freshman year to the last day of her senior. Her uncooth parents embarass her, and so she pushes them away. She is so insecure that she constantly obsesses about what she wears, what she eats, who she is seen with, how she speaks, and with whom she sleeps. After a few months, it's clear that she has lost her identity entirely. My favorite part about this book is what makes it real - disturbing but true - she doesn't come back around. And I think that's a reality. When we lose ourselves, we don't get that self back, we just create a new one. Maybe that new one mimics many parts of the old self, but the new insecurities prevent it from every returning to the original. If you want a pick me up, this is not the book. However, if you have been in this world and want to appreciate how you made it through and appreciate life on the other side, you won't be disappointed.
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