Friday, January 23, 2009

Rosoff, Swindells, Downham

In her Transition Year Extended Essay, Olivia Plunket wrote about the theme of childhood in three novels - Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now, Robert Swindells's Abomination, and Jenny Downham's Before I Die. Olivia writes:-

When we think of children, the first thing that comes to our minds is innocence and naivety. A child is the purest form of life on this planet, its faultless heart isn’t poisoned by the cruel realities of life, and it is always true to itself and isn’t bothered by what people think of it. A child can bring so much happiness into someone’s life. Parents can return to their childhood as they watch their own child grow and strengthen before their very eyes.

I chose the theme childhood because after reading How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, I gained a completely different perspective on my own life as well as the lives of those around me. I know that my three I have chosen are fictional, but I also know that some of the things the children in these book have to go through, happen in real life. To me no childhood is perfect. No child is the same, each one is unique, they all see the world differently. This is ironic because children of a certain age all try to be the same, look the same, act the same, but as they grow up they’ll realise that no clothes, or attitude can change who you are. When we grow old and weary, we will all look back at our childhoods, and we will see no faults or flaws, we will see the ecstasy and bliss we got out of it, and we’ll wonder why we wasted it wanting to grow up. Childhood can be torn apart by love or war, it can also be uplifted to the heavens, but it will never be appreciated in its time because when you are a child you won’t appreciate the freedom of it, because you will never have it taken away from you.

I chose these books because I believe that they all explore the depths of
childhood in very different ways. This is what I believe to be the most important thing and what will allow me to take you into these books on the journeys which are so irreplaceable and show you how much they really mean to those who experience them.

Read Olivia's full impressive comparative essay here.

(we're now on a weekend Exodus, returning on Tuesday morning).

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