The reason behind my week or so long hiatus can be traced back (at least a partly) to a rather violent case of the stomach flu. Up until a few days ago I’ve been running around telling everybody that I’m “vomit free since ninety-three” which isn’t entirely true on number of levels. To start, I was born in ninety-four. Also, I’ve naturally vomited quite a number of times since my birth, I just haven’t done it recently enough to really remember anything.
Until the stomach flu, that is.
I’m pretty much over it, however, which is great because I can finally focus on something other than sipping ginger-ale. Right. Literature. Connection. Here we go–if you were wondering why I decided to use the dramatic, one line, punctuation thing, it was partially a little salute to Sylvia Plath seeing as I finished up The Bell Jar last week. For the deprived souls who have yet to read Ms. Plath’s novel, the prose employs a heavy amount of dramatic, one line, punctuation things. Not that I’m complaining, it actually works quite well.
Not to freak anybody out with how much excitement you’re going to be put through today, I’m totally going to talk about THREE WHOLE BOOKS! Too much sarcasm? I really don’t think so. Hopefully, if you’re invested in reading this post or following this blog, you enjoy reading and literature. I digress.
Books: The Bell Jar, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars.
Authors: Sylvia Plath, Stephen Chbosky, John Green
Verdict: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.
Common thread: Illness. (Oh my, that was strikingly depressing)
It was through some divine streak of irony that I managed to read three books, each with major themes revolving around sickness, while simultaneously landing myself with the stomach flu.
First, The Bell Jar.
I should probably clarify by adding that Plath’s only novel wasn’t about sickness in terms of stomach flu. The story follows a kinda-sorta-version of Sylvia Plath as she plummets into depression. She gets better in the end, though, and I think that’s really, extraordinarily awesome of Sylvia Plath to do.
I realize that The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a stretch on the illness front. Again, it’s psychological sickness, but I wouldn’t be the first one to raise her hand and shout, “the overarching theme in this novel is the idea that illness is ultimately something that we as humans can overcome! Go team!”
Finally, I read (well, actually I have a few more pages to get through) my first John Green book.
Basically, it’s really, really, really, awesome and also about cancer which is how it sumbled into this post.
The thing about illness is that it’s more or less the most powerful weapon in the universe since, without disease, we could hypothetically continue living infinitum.
That said, nobody ever talks about being sick. It’s something we sweep under the rug and ignore. Especially in the AP circuit where psychological Darwinism surfaces and staying home from school not only means twenty trillion hours of make up work but also equates to waving a white flag of surrender as a weak link in the race to the top tenth percentile.
So thank you Ms. Plath, Mr. Chbosky, and Mr. Green. Thank you for acknowledging the existence of depression, PTSD, and cancer. But most of all, thank you for choosing to argue the theme that sickness is ultimately something to overcome. Unlike a certain other writer who decided to babble on about disease and then kill everybody involved, cough cough Shakespeare cough cough Hamlet sucks.
And thank you, lovely stomach of mine, for reminding me that vomiting is a thing.
Now get offline and buy all the books I mentioned. They’re totally worth it.