While one of the most famous Christmas stories of all time, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol sometimes comes under criticism for weakly addressing the problem of poverty. The complaint goes like this: Ebenezer Scrooge is but one person who learns an individual lesson, and that lesson is for private individuals to be a bit more charitable. One day a year. Thus, the Dickens classic tosses a breadcrumb to the poor, but doesn’t do a thing to address serious social ills. A sentimental tale, but a moral flop. Continue reading
If I told you to read a story about two guys paving a road together, you’d probably decline. But if I told you it was a modern day parable, an easy quick read, and written by the guy who wrote two books that turned into movies starring Tom Hanks, ok, maybe you’d pick it up. Continue reading
Room 53: Aggravation, Christ, and Congress [see previous post on the West]
—I saved you for last because you were the only one Thomas saw as a mentor and I think you complete the religious imagery that is there abut would have been more there if Eggers was religious and had a more religious agenda.
—I understand, son.
Room 57: Illiteracy, Profiling, and Cops [see previous post on morals]
—I know you’re tired of people picking on cops, but we have to interrogate you too.
—Asiomerican lives matter. Carry on.
—There’s a bit from when Thomas is talking to you and he has this theory that the reason you shot his friend was because “you and your buddies can’t read.”
—That’s right. Kind of an unfair charge directed at a cop.
—I think he has a point.
—That we’re a bunch of ignorant redneck bullies?
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?
Room 52: Fathers, Prophets, Astronauts and Promises
[So you’ve read Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers. SPOILERS AHEAD! Beginning with this post, Caleb Coy will interview each of the 7 kidnapped characters in the novel and interrogate them on the book’s themes.]
SECRETS ARE LIES
SHARING IS CARING
PRIVACY IS THEFT
[Continued from parts 1 and 2]
The circle is about to be complete. Mae is at the center of it all. Everyone at the circle, and everyone across the world, seem to have bought into the idea that transparency of all things is best, that putting everything about yourself out there is best. Now we are on the verge of making everything mandatory. [spoilers ahead]
In his novel The Circle Dave Eggers branches out into dystopian fiction. You’d think a writer like Eggers wouldn’t bother with a genre many contemporary literary writers might find too cliche, commercialized, and predictable. “Society looks perfect, but it all goes downhill. Seen it before.” But Eggers doesn’t go for a distant, war-torn future. He takes us back to the roots of modern dystopian masterpieces: 1984 and Brave New World. What we get is a glimpse of the near future that is—I’ll admit—more relevant than one of my favorites, The Hunger Games.