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[personal profile] aryllian
I believe I liked this book when I was a child. Rereading it, I think I can see why I liked it. It's a good story if you can accept the worldview, and I suppose when I was younger my own worldview hadn't developed enough to get in the way of my enjoyment of certain things that now go against my worldview. For example, I used to like Anne McCaffrey, too. (Okay, I admit I still like a small subset of Anne McCaffrey's books. That is, Damia. Anyway...)

I suppose it's similar to what [ profile] papersky said here about reading everything as SF as a child due to a lack of experience, but even more than that. Reading everything as acceptable? Reading everything as believable?

Because worldview as I mean it is something completely different from the world a story is set in. It's how the author thinks worlds work. What kind of complexities are necessary. What people are like. What societies are like.

This time, reading A Wrinkle in Time, I was disturbed by the worldview. I have a hard time believing in a nebulous shadow/dark/black thing as an adversary, but I'm willing to take that as being religious symbolism and let it pass.

A worse violation of my personal worldview is that it seems to me that the characters are ranked in terms of their intelligence/talent in an absolute fashion. Charles Wallace is better than Calvin, who is better than Dr. Murry, who is better than Meg. I don't believe there is ever an absolute ranking, and I especially don't believe that they would be able to establish this hierarchy so quickly, or take it so for granted.

I believe I read this for the first time in 5th grade. Being in school, getting grades, I suppose it was natural to think that absolute ranks made sense (even though the book doesn't really accept grades as mattering, because I did accept it, and grades are a form of absolute ranking). I didn't even start to figure out that grades don't necessarily matter much 'til after high school. Grades measure performance at school, not intelligence/talent or anything really important.

So I can't accept a lot of the things which the people in this book seem to take for granted, and it interferes with my enjoyment of the book. I think this happens to me a lot. Usually, I'm annoyed by what I see as a simplistic worldview.

In the discussion I linked above, [ profile] papersky talks about people only reading books where they are like the characters. I think, a lot of the time, I only like books where I agree with the author's worldview. It also helps to be able to identify with the characters, especially when getting into a book, but that is not nearly as necessary for me as it used to be. I used to always have to have a character that I could identify with and root for, and if my character didn't show up enough or do anything very interesting, I probably wouldn't like the book. I still do this to some degree, but not so much, any more.

I wonder why.


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