all I ever wanted…

about my travelogues, adventures in life, fashion, beauty and the occasional rambling.

The Casual Vacancy

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Reading ‘The Casual Vacancy’ recently and this excerpt really got me thinking.

‘Howard carried the mental image of the Fields with him always, like a memory of a nightmare: boarded windows daubed with obscenities; smoking teenagers loitering in the perennially defaced bus shelters; satellite dishes everywhere, turned to the skies like the denuded ovules of grim metal flowers. He often asked rhetorically why they could not have organized and made the place over – what was stopping the residents from pooling their meagre resources and buying a lawnmower between the lot of them? But it never happened: the Fields waited for the councils, District and Parish, to clean, to repair, to maintain; to give and give and give again. 

Howard would then recall the Hope Street of his boyhood, with its tiny back gardens, each hardly more than tablecloth-sized squares of earth, but most, including his mother’s, bristling with runner beans and potatoes. There was nothing, as far as Howard could see, to stop the Fielders growing fresh vegetables; nothing to stop them disciplining their sinister, hooded, spray-painting offspring; nothing to stop them pulling themselves together as a community and tackling the dirt and the shabbiness; nothing to stop them cleaning themselves up and taking jobs; nothing at all. So Howard was forced to draw the conclusion that they were choosing, of their own free will, to live the way they lived, and that the estate’s air of slightly threatening degradation was nothing more than a physical manifestation of ignorance and indolence.’

At first when I read it, I was like who is Howard to think of people he don’t understand that way? But I realised that this is me too! There’s been countless times when I judge too quickly, jump to conclusions when I knew nuts about a particular situation and tell myself XXX must be because of YYY.

This is definitely not a reflection post, of how flawed my character is. I simply am just amazed by how this character is similar to me in the way I think, and it got me wondering why I have such a mindset. One reason I could come up with is because coming to a conclusion about a situation/person gives me ‘closure’, however inappropriate this word may be for this situation, but it just stops me from obsessing over trying to find a reason for everything. Being on the fence about everything all the time must be such a pain in the butt, literally 😉

Maybe one day I should really try to examine this flaw of mine, and be more open-minded. But tonight, tonight I am just going to marvel about the first time I am able to identify so deeply with a book character.


Written by whitepaperroses

March 7, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Posted in musings

Tagged with ,

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