English Regents

3 March 2017

Books can cast a strange spell over you. It’s the intimacy of being let into such details of a character’s feelings and being that draws you to read The fluency of the writing and the drama, heroism, and intrigue exhibited by the characters can almost be too much for a person. The pure power of literature sometimes wont allow you to set the book aside and leave the characters life. The attraction and attachment of humans to fictional characters through reading is seen in the poem “The Reader” by Richard Wilbur and an excerpt from the short story “A General in the Library” by Italo Calvino. The Reader” by Richard Wilbur is a poem in which a young woman goes back and re reads books of her childhood. It is almost like she is having a flashback even though she is reading the books in the present. The characters that she knew and related to as a child now came flooding back. She recalled their stories and instantly became inserted back into the trials and tribulations of the characters. She not only knew who each character was, she knew their aspirations and breakdowns.

She did not just read about poor orphans, she saw them as “Orphans reaching for a first handhold in a stony world. ” It was almost like the reader was having an epiphany. She was suddenly illuminated to the lives of the characters she had once known. The readers attachment grew still to her books. Since she already knew the fate of her characters she was stuck in a paradox of sorts. She knew what had happened and what will happen, but there was nothing she could do to save her beloved characters. She sees their first and final selves at once. ” She knows what “will become of them in bloody field, or Tuscan garden. ” But even though she knows what will happen, and tha they eventually will meet their end she is still hooked. The drama and excitement of having a window into another “persons” life is irresistible and powerful. That is the power of a book, The original goal of General Fedina in “A General in the Library” was to censor the library and filter out books that opposed Pandurian principals.

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