Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Reader's Lens

Since finishing my review of Revolutionary Road yesterday, I've had some time to do some thinking, and of course some time to explore other reviews of the book (I've learned not to do this while I'm reading a novel or I will become distracted and sometimes find it affects my enjoyment of a book.

For the most part, I don't filter my reading. I read virtually every genre (though I prefer not to read sci-fi or books that are driven by a political agenda -- you'll see a few from me, but not a lot). However, I do tend, as I believe we all do, to read through the lens of my personal experiences with life and different situations.

So, for example, when I'm reading Revolutionary Road, I'm not looking for a hidden agenda. I'm not looking for a deep message and meaning that will alter my life as I know it. In this case, because the book is so character-driven, I allowed myself to connect to the characters, but I also went a step further: I allowed myself to, in theory, learn from the mistakes that they had made. That, I suppose, is my "lens." My lens said "possibility" and from reading reviews, others wore the lens of "futility."

I find this interesting. At this point I can't say what Yates' intentions were, but I know what I took away from the experience of reading this book. My lens makes it no less incredible, though I wonder if the opposing lens will reveal such a beautiful book.


  1. Interesting take on this book. I have added it to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have memories of an English teacher telling me my interpretation of a poem was 'wrong'. How could it be wrong if it was my opinion? Now I try to avoid reading guides that 'tell' me how to read a book. Nowt wrong with the message you take away ;)

    Personally I took the message of "futility" and "lack of control over destiny" from the book. But I am a glass half full kind of person.

  3. Hello there! Have a blog award:

    It's well-deserved!

  4. One thing that I don't like about interpreting literature was that one of my own poems had been brought up for interpretation, and the teacher told me that my interpretation was wrong! Are you kidding me?

    I wouldn't call myself an optimist. Most people who know me well think of me as extraordinarily pessimistic, in fact (which is kind of depressing for me). However, I do tend to follow through! So my attitude toward the Wheelers was "why not?!?!"

    @Bethany -- I just had the weirdest "scare." I got to your site and saw that I wasn't a follower, which confused me to no end. LOL I'm not logged into Google. THANKS!

  5. I have been pondering adding this book to TBR list for 2010-your excellent review has pushed me in that direction-