Tag Archives: ashley yarbrough

Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of my favorite authors. His blatant use of symbols and clear messages about life through his stories is refreshing since, being an English major, my professors often tasked me with finding “deeper meanings” in texts. The back of my mind always wondering, “Does there have to be a deeper meaning?”

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Heart vs Stomach in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House

 Based on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House uses seven main characters to tell the story of how a house haunts the lives of the Craine family to keep itself standing. This article contains spoilers for all its twists, so read at your own discretion.

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The Power of Words in Matched

 I’ve read a lot of dystopias; I enjoy reading the authors’ “what if” speculations, and I value the repeated reminder of the power of the individual, the value of the individual. Maybe it helps to empower me? Or value others? The Giver was my first and favorite dystopia. I’ll always treasure the story’s value to not only me as a person but also as a reader. However, Matched by Allie Condie took a perspective on dystopias I hadn’t yet seen in other similar books: It harped on the importance of history, poetry, and just plain old words. Condie used Cassia’s character to remind me of the value of written words by personifying books and using Cassia to show someone starved of the written word.

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The Giver: The Value of Memories

The Giver will forever (at least, foreseeably) be my favorite dystopian novel. It was the novel that caused my 11-12-year-old self fall in love with reading. The power of the individual to take down an entire society led by adults appealed to my rebellious spirit. It was relatable to me that adults would rob youths of their freedoms under the guise of protecting them (I felt so oppressed… looking back, I have no idea why!). In this book, these adults do it to other adults and even themselves, so ignorant to what they are actually doing, and the author masterfully presents the problematic nature of this “protection.” Through this perceived protection, there is a clear clash of the themes of taking and giving.

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Heart vs. Head in Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is essentially a story about a girl who has to decide between her heart and her head. Catherine grew up with Heathcliff, who is so much like Catherine there are multiple times in the novel where they yell that the other is a part of themselves. Catherine famously declares she “is Heathcliff.” She says “whatever souls are made of [Heathcliff’s] and [hers] are the same.” In addition, when Catherine dies, Heathcliff tells Nelly, “I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul.” It’s all romantic and makes the reader—perhaps a bit guiltily—swoon. Continue reading

Falling in Love with Reading: The Giver

I grew up home-schooled, which I think for most people implies I was an avid reader. This was true. I read a lot. My mom had a rule I read at least 30 minutes a day, which was no struggle. Reading was so normal and common for me, I didn’t think much about it. It was a time-killing activity I would complete with as much apathy as one who watches infomercials late at night. Sometimes by noon, I had finished with my schoolwork for the day. I would camp out in my room and read for 3 hours. I read in the car, before bed, while I procrastinated instead of doing my required household chores… Continue reading