Saturday, May 11, 2013

When Reading Responses goes bad....


As a teacher, we work so hard for our students to be so invested into characters in the books they read. We want them to "live" in their world. Well, after reading about author Charlaine Harris and some of the reactions from some of her readers over the ending of her vampire series, it's a shame that so many reacted so aggressively negative.

So why all the fuss? Well, because their main character didn't end up with who they wanted her to end up with romantically.

One reviewer had a great response. She said she wasn't there for the romance. She was there for the story. She was there for the main character, Sookie and her experiences taught her some life lessons. In the end, in this particular reader's mind, Sookie made the choice that made sense. In the end, she thanked the author for such great entertainment over the years.

Most couldn't really verbalize their opinions without using expletives and unable to form a coherent sentence. (Don't believe me? Just google it) And trust me, I know the feeling. Somewhat. The Great Gatsby. Oh man, what a HORRIBLE ending. Okay, that's too much credit. Horrible story. But a cautionary tale, no? Anyway, I was so angry at the author, I reacted a bit over the top. Somewhat like below:

But I built a bridge and got over it.

I'm a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan. (See this video at 5:21 for an idea of my LOTR love & knowledge mirrors Colbert somewhat....) When the movie business came in, changed the book for big screen needs, at first I was shocked. Angry even. But, as soon as I built a bridge and got over it, I was able to enjoy the rest of the LOTR films immensely afterwards and now have a new trilogy to look forward to in the Hobbit. So I can understand the emotion. But what I don't understand is how ungrateful these people are and how they are attacking the author.

Are they so fired up over real life disappointments? Benghanzi? National Debt? Syria?

How does this all tie in with teaching? Because in the end, as teachers, reading should make us better people. Not self-absorbed, "It's all about Me" attitudes. When we ask students to read, we want them to remember the BIG picture. That the reason why we learn to read and write and learn is to help our fellow man. Stories should help us learn how to be good, or provide cautionary tales of those characters who make really bad choices for power or greed.

What good is it if we only use our education to just keep ourselves entertained? Or worse? It's okay to react and respond and voice your opinion. But contain your temper tantrum. Self control is a virtue that is lacking in today's society anyway.  There is nothing wrong with reading for entertainment, but when  you where threaten an author, or bodily harm to yourself, it's like you are the villian of your life story. You become the evil hag. And everyone knows how that story ends.

and remember:

No comments: