The Quite Interesting Elegies

Placeholder ImageThe world around us is constantly changing. Those resistant to the change are deemed ignorant and old school. Technology and moral values are changing at an alarming rate. For example, every year there is a new iPhone that comes out with drastic changes and something a previous iPhone didn’t have. In the same sense, each generation of young people is being exposed to drugs, sex, and other corrupting values at an earlier age. They are exposed through movies, music, and their peers. In a sense, technology is to blame. I vividly remember for my 12 birthday I received my first bow hunting set. I was ecstatic. My best friend Joe, who at the time was 13, received his first smart phone. I remember being so jealous of him that he had a smart phone, that sometimes I forgot about my bow set. Looking back on my 12-year-old self I am angry with myself for being jealous. For it is with that bow that I killed my first deer, and many outdoor REAL life experiences while my friend was inside trapped on his phone playing tetris.

In a sense this is what Birkets was arguing. He pointed out that more and more people are forgetting what literature is because of the fast growing technologies. At one point he wrote, “we have created technology that not only enables us to change our basic nature, but is making it inevitable.” It was inevitable that I received my first smart phone; it was just a matter of time. I agree with Birkets in his argument in chapter 1. He further more argued that “by in large, we ignore the massive transformations happening before us.” His argument was very urgent. He begins to close his argument in chapter 1 with the idea that a whole generation of children was engulfed in one motion picture, and the introduction to Disney. He specifically wrote, “will all these kids march forward into adulthood as Diseny automatons, with cookie cut responses to the world they encounter?” After reading the closing statements to that paragraph I had to stop and think; the thought of this was all too familiar. 1984 by George Orwell. Birkets introduced the thought that this motion picture is brain washing little children, just how most of the people in 1984 were brainwashed with their “cookie cut responses.”

In Chapter 2, Birkets begins to get a little more in depth on who he is as a writer and how he became the writer he is today. I find this section of the book to be very relatable, because he mentions how his family at home didn’t speak English. In my home, my parents raised me to speak Polish in the house. I too went into preschool not understanding the common everyday English language. I too felt that, “English wasn’t mine, it belonged to them.” This section of chapter 2, I found to be the most relatable to me. Chapter 2 was generally a better read. Birkets was took a less formal approach to this section, and made it so the reading could relate and also feel for him. When discussing his childhood, one quote that stood out to me was when Birkets said how he was scared to be left alone in a room full of books. Birkets wrote, “I thought the dogs would slip free of their confinement, and come baying after me.” This shows the passion that Birkets had for literature, and how real it was to him.


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