Is it worthwhile to learn the classics? This is a question posed to some of the characters at the very beginning of the “Other Kingdom” by E.M. Forster. After some debate, one of the characters poignantly says the classics teach them how to avoid things. While the story is certainly about more than that, there is a related theme that ties in that message: the importance of escapism. As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the piece, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
The Colour Out of Space is an intriguing tale by H.P. Lovecraft that attempts to combine two different genre aspects into one coherent story. On the one hand, it addresses our fears of space and how we may not understand everything that comes from it. On the other hand, it features our fear of what might lie underground in the dark that we can neither see nor comprehend. The elements work together wonderfully. Yet, there are also a few smaller elements worth discussing, as their presence adds a true terrifying “what if” prospect. As per usual, this is merely my own interpretation of the story.
“Love of Life” by Jack London is one of those stories you come away from completely horrified. There are certain types of scenarios we know exist, and yet our minds often choose not to dwell on them. To do so would mean to accept the true, horrific experience they would be. “Love of Life” chooses to dwell on one of these scenarios, in this case what almost starving to death is like. However, within this tale we examine a dark take on what it means to survive by all means necessary and what we may lose in the process. As always, the following is my own interpretation of the story and not the only interpretation possible.
Is immortality all that great? While many stories idolize the concept, just as many point out the long-term realities. “The Mortal Immortal,” written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is one such heart-wrenching tale about one man’s curse of immortality. Though it is not the only tale to explore the downsides of immortality, it is one that is special in how it involves another theme: the terrors man’s pursuit of knowledge can bring upon itself. As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and just my opinion.
Have you ever people watched? For those of us who have, you know that it can be an interesting window into the human life that goes on around us. In the bustling of today’s world, it can be hard to even know who might randomly be paying attention to us. Regardless, people watching is somewhat the topic of Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Man of the Crowd.” It is through this story that we are not only reminded that those around us are living lives we can’t comprehend, but that in some cases it might be better for us to not know. As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and just my lone opinion.
Today is one of those days where I’ve been met with a difficult story to analyze, namely “Metzengerstein” by Edgar Allan Poe. Like many of Poe’s stories, there is a lot of symbolism to break down to fully appreciate the true nature of the tale. For me, however, the overall message of this particular story is one that is largely elusive. Yet, there is at least one aspect that I do think the story represents very clearly and very well: human cruelty is far scarier than the supernatural. As per usual, the following is my interpretation of the piece and just my opinion.
Even today the idea of a random plague wiping out most of humanity is a tangible thought. Particularly with anti-biotic crises and super viruses on the rise, it is a scarier thought than usual. This is no foreign topic, however, as we can see in Jack London’s short novella “The Scarlet Plague.” However, “The Scarlet Plague” is not so much about this horrid fear. Instead, the story is one that reminds us of how intangible and inconsequential most of our social structures are. As always, the following is my own opinion on the meaning of the piece, and you’re welcome to your own opinions.
“The Celestial Omnibus” by E.M. Forster is one of those stories you walk away from trying to digest the meaning. In some ways, the message for the story is obvious; in other ways though, you have to ponder long and hard to figure out what it means to your life. After doing this so-called pondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that what we can take away from the story is the idea that creativity is what keeps us alive. Before I begin on my analysis of the piece, bear in mind my usual disclaimer that this is just my opinion of the story.
“The Other Side of the Hedge” is a short story written by E.M. Forster. The tale is one with a humanistic focus, delving into the purpose of mankind’s very existence. It is also a tale that remarks on mankind’s obsession with productivity, analyzing whether it is good or bad. Within the tale, though, I found there to be two layers of symbolism that we can use to learn important lessons about how we view life. As always, the following is my own interpretation and just one opinion.