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A More Positive View of "Generosity"

dfishervan's picture

Before we moved onto “The Plague,” due to the overwhelming negative attitude our class has expressed towards “Generosity,” I felt compelled to mention that I actually really enjoyed Power’s novel. This isn’t the first time that I’ve been one of the only members of a class that liked a particular reading assignment. Don’t get me wrong, I have found myself falling into the trap of basing my attraction to certain novels on how relatable and real its characters are and how the story transports me into this make-believe world. I do believe that Powers eventually accomplishes these tasks in a rather unconventional method. He performs a literary experiment by creating these distant characters and seeing whether or not by the end of the novel his narrator and audience are capable of feeling close to them in this Chicago-hybrid city he creates. This experiment however, is not what peaked my interest in his novel. What I really appreciated was my overall ability to follow along with the story while still being confused by various sentences throughout the book. In novels that intrigue me, I view these baffling snippets as puzzles that if I put in enough time, I can solve. The interjections by the characters and narrator that were over my head make sense to the author and thus assured me that the author was very aware of his characters and his novel’s purpose. As with any book I read, one of the most appealing facets of Power’s book were the occasional strings of words littered throughout the novel that resonated with me and encouraged me to reflect on the state of things in the book, in the world, and in my own life. Consequently, these thought-provoking sentences allow one to form a connection with the book on a much deeper level than any realistic character within the novel could hope to achieve.

 

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