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C.S. Lewis, “We read to know that we are not alone” means that readers have the power to relate and comprehend the fictional characters created by the authors. In life, people do face many challenges that offer them joy, peace, or sadness. In many scenarios, the majority of people find it hard to confide in others regarding their issues thereby ending up containing their problems to themselves, which can be detrimental leading to further damage such as committing suicide. However, that can be solved by reading books. Reading allows a reader to pretend to be a character in the book who feels the same way that they do. It helps them escape reality and live in the fictional world through someone’s eyes particularly the protagonists. Also, readers become part of the book thus relating to the situations that they have faced in the real life. I agree with Lewis quote since it shows how people encounter different characters in books which resemble themselves through their behavior, speaking style, and personality. I also agree due to the experience that I have received through reading the two short stories, A&P and The Man Who Was Almost a Man.
In A&P, the protagonist, Sammy resembled himself in various ways. He is a teenager like me. He also defends the three young girls dressed in swimming suit that his manager, Lengel, accuses of being indecent in the grocery store even though he quit his job and the women failed to get his attention (Updike). Standing up for the girls shows his graduation from being a boy to a man. I can relate to his defender trait since I tend to stand up to people who bully other in school due to their different perspectives on them. In The Man Who Was Almost a Man, Dave Sanders has a personality trait of lacking self-worth. He buys a gun from Fat Joe to make him feel in control and powerful. He believes that the gun will make him a man (Wright). I can relate to this because last summer, I stole my dads’ car keys and drove around the neighborhood. When coming back, I was grounded for two weeks all in the name of being a man. That is one action that I will live to regret and I will never repeat it again. Dave is also a teen like me.
In this Lewis quote, it is clear that people can become part of a book thereby encouraging readers to want to read to more to discover what the characters that they resemble progress and survive in the book. Through the two books, I was able to share my feelings and thoughts through the two characters eyes.
Wright, Richard. "The Man Who Was Almost a Man." The Short Story: 50 Masterpieces (1983): 499-511.
Updike, John. A & P. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1961.
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