Monthly Archives: November 2011

Read, Write, PUSH

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About the Book

A book that has truly changed my outlook specifically, on pursuing my goals and dreams, would be the novel, Push.  It is written by Sapphire and is a novel based on fiction.  The novel, in short, is about a young and overweight girl, Precious, who lives in Harlem, New York. The book narrates how she struggles to overcome her family and financial issues and fights to learn how to read and write.  The girl must rise above her sexually abusive mother and father and learn in order to succeed in life.  I originally heard about the novel from my AP English teacher during my senior year of high school. She said it had gotten awards and that I should look into reading it. I bought it at Borders in my home town and ended up reading the entire book in two days.

The Hardships

 The poor girl in the novel is constantly put down by people at school as well as her mother for being heavy and is called stupid because she truly just doesn’t know how to read. The sad part is that she was just a child who slipped through the public school system without properly learning how to read or write. Her illiteracy obviously held her back in all other aspects of life as shown in the novel. For example, She can’t participate in other classes or read about how to protect herself from pregnancy and sexual abuse.

The topic of sexual abuse was extremely graphic within the book.  Precious’ mother would constantly sexually abuse her as well as her father starting from the time when she was just a little baby. This of course not only was the reason she had two children by the time she was sixteen but it was also the reason why she was not stable on an emotional and psychological level.

A learning Experience

The book was extremely inspirational. It showed me that even in the most difficult of times that anyone can strive for their dreams; anyone can succeed if they just push forward and focus. Her determination to learn in order to gain a better life for herself as well as her children is a model I think of now while going through college. The novel highlighted to me the importance of an education as well as the importance of keeping a good focus when it comes to striving for my goals and dreams.

I still, to this day, talk about the book whenever someone wants a quick read. I like to suggest it because I think someone else should be inspired the way that it had inspired   me. Even though it is a very depressing and graphic novel I still believe it’s worth reading. The lessons learned out of the book most definitely out weight the gruesome topics discussed within the novel. I hope to read many more books like this that I can connect with my life in a deep and meaningful way. I mean, to me that is the whole point of reading books in the first place.

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Disney Desire

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When I was a little girl Disney movies were always my favorite movies to watch. I loved the storylines that included animals like The Fox and The Hound, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, or Oliver and Company. I remember saying to my parents, “wow, I wish my dog was as cool as the ones in those movies.”

 I also loved how Disney movies always had a story about romance involved. I remember idolizing the beautiful main female characters and hoping that when I grew up that I would look just like them and fall in love with some handsome man.

What I never realized was how unrealistic those concepts were. I also never realized how much of an impact those movies have really had on me until now. Were those movies really okay for me to watch? Were they too unrealistic with the real world?

With that being said, I decided to look up the issue on the idea of being a princess pushed through Disney movies and its impact on young girls. I found an article written by a very disturbed mother. She was experiencing how her daughter always wanted to play dress-up and how people in her life, such as teachers, her dentist, and even the grocery store check-out clerk were treating her in a gender biased way. For example, they were calling her princess and assuming her favorite color was pink.

After reading this I really took into account how when I was growing up I was never really treated as a total girly girl. Yes, I wore dresses and enjoyed playing with my barbies, but my parents balanced that very well with the importance of playing outside and being independent.

I sometimes wonder if I would be even more independent if I had not been subjected to the “princess” idea and how being pretty in pink with submissive behaviors was the way to get a man’s attention.

Unfortunately, because I’ll truly never know why I am the way I am today I suppose even I will have my future children watch Disney movies. Even though Disney has hidden messages I personally doubt my child will really see them. I know I didn’t even know about them until high school and if that’s the case what harm is really causing.

I have come to figure that if I enjoyed watching the movies with my parents and if I learned some positive values then Disney can’t possibly be that bad. In fact, I think I would rather have my child watch that than some of the TV shows they air like The Jersey Shore.