Some book thoughts

I think because I’m excited about going to school, I’ve also been excited about reading some really smart books lately. I have some thoughts.

A little while ago I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I did this in three weeks, and let me tell you, that is a feat. It’s 1100 pages long, with teeny tiny print. This is an interesting story and written in a compelling fashion, but does boil down to being a piece of objectiviest propaganda. The theory set forth in this dystropia is that the best thing you can do for humanity is to be as selfish and self-seeking as you can. That by doing that you will work hard, acheive great things, and humanity will benefit. I have heard it said that after reading Atlas Shrugged you become a complete jerk for about three weeks. This is not entirely inaccurate.

I was glad that not long after reading Atlas Shrugged I read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (possibly misspelling his last name). While Atlas Shrugged comes at the world from the point of view of the great industrial giants, The Jungle comes at if from the point of view of the lowliest laborer in the industrial factories, the immigrant. The Jungle sets forth the ugliest consequences of unrestricted captalism. From house-buying swindles to adulterated, poisoned food, to deadly working conditions and unrestrained sexual harrassment, The Jungle hits almost everything you could imagine going wrong for a working-man, and many you couldn’t. In the last tenth of the book the Sinclaire decides that his story is pretty much over and he might as well use this extra time to write some socialist propaganda. While it is easier to agree with Sinclaire, I have to admit that Rand makes her point better. While I could see why the protagonist became a socialist, I never considered becoming one myself. Sadly, Sinclaire is far more greatly based in reality.

Now I am reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. So far Margaret Atwood reminds me of Toni Morrison; she’s hypnotic, but she uses her powers for evil. After this I’ll have to read something a bit less political.

3 thoughts on “Some book thoughts”

  1. For me it was about a month and half, though it wasn’t Atlas Shrugged, but the other one (The Fountainhead, I think it’s called) that is based loosely on Frank Lloyd Wright’s life. From what I know of Atlas, I think Fountainhead’s story is more compelling (and hey, it’s only 720 pages!). It was junior or senior year of HS. Those books should come with a warning not to led people under 21 read them…:)

    Had to read The Jungle for an American History class in HS. Hated, hated, hated that book. So unrealistic (yeah, that stuff all happened, but never ALL of it to ONE guy) and so obviously propaganda for a socialist position.

  2. Also

    Don’t be disillusioned when you find out no one else in your class is actually doing the reading. Stick to your guns and do it. My freshman year I got the highest grades in the class for every History class I took, and actually had a prof read one of my essays in front of like 500 students it Hist 111. But then I found out I was the only one doing any actual work, so I just got lazy and turned in schlock for A minuses the rest of my college career. Don’t do that.

  3. What I think???

    I find myself smiling and shaking my head side to side and saying, “You are amazing, simply amazing.” I would love to have a student like you in my class!

    The unprofessor side of me also agrees; you are amazing!!!

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