Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Literature, Cussing and Tom's Rules... part two


An English teacher thinks about literature and her own writing
I wrote earlier about the convention or use of fathers in Western Literature to examine the nature of God and about Tom MacBride as an uncommon hero.
dim picture of the book cover of "The Scottish Chiefs"
Tom MacBride is a different sort of father than is commonly seen in literature. He’s also a different sort of Christian than is commonly seen in literature, but I hope that most of my characters are so. And though we are inspired by literature, through reading we learn more about human nature and about God’s work in human life, we find our hearts opened as we read about different strains of struggle and heroism, we can’t use those stories as we would a code of conduct.
For instance, we would never say to our children or students: if you find yourself floating down the Mississippi River with a noble, escaped slave, you should lie to everyone you meet and steal food and clothing. No, but we understand why Huck did it. We understand this because Huck Finn represents every lonely, hopeful one of us humans. We may not want our sons to be like Huck Finn in the lying and stealing sense, but I, for one, hope everyone learns to think and to question corrupt practices in society and to discard falsehoods about God though they be told freely and without conscience—as Huck did.
That’s because...  (Read more...)

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