This I Believe: The Power Of Literature
I sat in my desk in class in the seventh grade. That period was one that switch every nine weeks to another class, this nine weeks I had a writing class with the teacher who also instructed my language arts class that was first period. The teacher was out that day so the substitute told us to sit quietly and write anything in our notebooks. Anything. I could turn that blank notebook paper into anything my imagination could create. I remembered a dream I’d had the night before and began writing. It turned into a narrative. A story about a girl, who was a princess believe it or not. I didn’t stop writing until the forty-five minute class was over and I only stopped then because I had to leave the classroom to go to my next subject. And I wrote through that entire class as well. My mind wouldn’t stop creating this story it had started.
I would read when I couldn’t write. I would live through the stories. I loved the thought of having access to living so many lives, any life I wanted. I could be whoever I wanted to be. Having that power to live wherever I wanted, especially with the control of writing, it changed who I was. I took a piece of every story I read with me, the traits of a character would become a part of me and I found myself possessing that characteristic. After reading a book called Of Beast and Beauty, the lead female role was portrayed as a blind girl who became queen of her city and must learn the truth about her ancestors wicked ways and put a stop to the cruel doings of her city. She was totally blind and found the courage to go against everything she and her people had known, she was ridiculed and made out to be mad. But she was brave, despite her handicap. Since I’ve read it, I’ve found myself setting aside what used to stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Now, even though I’m aware that I’m not as knowledgable as some of the others in IB, I raise my hand more and I take guesses with no shame, even if I feel I am wrong.
For the traits I want to see in myself, I create my characters to have those traits. I have the power to constitute any personality my imagination can form. I can do anything in the stories I write and it develops me not only as a writer, but as a person too. When I have control of the situation it’s as if I’m looking down on it as it unfolds and I can see it for the whole picture that it is, whereas in real life a predicament arises, I only see my own perspective as it is happening. Later, I can come back and reflect on the other possible view points. But I see everything when I can write the scene.
Maybe it makes me a control freak, but I believe in the power of literature. Not the class you’re forced to take four times in high school that are required to graduate, the ones that you sit through with glossed over eyes that stare at the board and watch the teacher talk while your brain is somewhere far away. No, I believe in the literature you stumble upon on your own. For me it’s been reading and writing. Literature has developed who I am, this is something that I believe.