Anda di halaman 1dari 6

Melandovich 1

Simona Melandovich
Vana Derohanessian
3 December 2014
Reading with Flies
Growing up, I never really considered myself an avid reader or much of a reader at all.
Reading was always something my parents encouraged me to do, and teachers usually forced me
to do. Reading was very different for me because that I was raised as a bilingual child. Both
reading and writing in English was a completely different experience for me than reading and
writing in Russian. Although I learned to speak both Russian and English around the same time,
it was still difficult for me to expand my knowledge in English because Russian remained the
primary language spoken at home. I already didnt enjoy reading much and being bilingual made
it very difficult for me to understand and connect to English literature. Amy Tan, an author that
shared a similar experience growing up with two languages, explained in Mother Tongue, that it
was difficult for her to answer even the simplest of questions in English class because she was
not raised to use personal experience and opinion when it came to answering questions. I can
relate to Amy Tan and her difficulty with grasping a concept that she was not familiar with
because of the way she was raised.
Many obstacles stood in the way of me reading and each of them caused me to become
quite lazy towards reading. Adults in my life always confronted me about my poor attitude
towards reading and said that reading was necessary for developing many vital life skills, but
even the slightest mention of reading bored me out of my mind! I would have chosen playing

Melandovich 2
outside in the mud over sitting inside and reading a dusty old book any day. I remember my
friends at school talking about the latest Harry Potter book or the thrill of another Nancy Drew
mystery; I would zone out for these conversations. This often times made me feel left out and not
so confident in my intelligence or my abilities. In a way, I felt inferior to those who read because
I didnt enjoy it as much. Reading was never an escape or an adventure for me; it was just
something that I had to do at school. Little did I know that one-day books would change my
outlook on life and the way I interpreted people as well as help me in developing a confidence in
a world of literature that I never knew I would feel.
My perspective on reading began evolving when I started high school because I now had
to put in a lot more effort in my classes to do well. Not only was I expected to read a lot more,
but I was also expected to develop actual thoughts and opinions about the books I was assigned.
By this time, my English language skills were more developed and I had a better understanding
of grammar and rhetoric. Being more comfortable with the English language made it easier for
me to understand the readings assigned to me but I still had trouble relating to books on a
personal level. However, in high school, schoolwork did not simply comprise of reading novels,
which again I wasnt really a huge fan of; as students we were required to interpret metaphors
and symbols, and analyze why characters acted the way they did. Class discussions were no
longer about plot points or basic character descriptions; they were about looking past the surface
of a story and reading between the lines as well as sharing personal thoughts and opinions about
the text.
Reading poetry by authors such as Robert Frost and William Shakespeare required me to
interpret a variety of metaphors that didnt mean much to me than a whole bunch of random

Melandovich 3
words that I may or may not have been familiar with. It took the correct interpretation to figure
that in Frosts, The Road Not Taken , the two roads diverged in a yellow wood is actually a
metaphor for taking chances in life and trying new things. Reading past the surface such as in
this instance made me consider that reading could actually alter my ways of thinking and
decision-making. Maybe one day I will take the road less travelled by and that road will make
all the difference. Reading past the surface and becoming more involved in text helped me
better relate to literature and it made me realize the importance of reading.
Although I was able to connect with the text on a more intellectual level, it wasnt until
my sophomore year in high school when I was assigned Lord of the Flies by William Golding,
that I was able to really make connections between my personal life and the book. I was simply
captivated from the moment I opened the book. I was intrigued by the mystic and suspenseful set
up of the novel. I remember playing a game with my friends called 'Stranded on an Island" when
I was a child in which we would pretend that we were on an island all by ourselves with just
popsicle sticks and a magnifying glass (which we used to burn leaves and "start a fire"). Being
without adults was a concept my friends and I entertained growing up, so a story about boys who
end up on an island by themselves after a plane crash was extremely interesting to me.
The novel gives an indirect analysis of the different components present in human nature
known as the id, ego, and superego. In class, we were required to analyze each of these
components thoroughly. Through this, I felt that I got to know each of the characters personally
and I somehow found a way to relate to each of them. For example, Ralph, the protagonist of the
novel, is representative of the aspect of human nature known as the ego; the ego acts as a
mediator between the selfish and unruly id and the moral and maternal superego. I was

Melandovich 4
fascinated by the qualities of leadership and desire for equality possessed by Ralph. Before
reading the novel, I was always more of a follower than a leader, but after being introduced to
Ralphs character, I was inspired to take control of and resolve situations that I was in. In the
novel, there is a dispute on who could make decisions and express opinions and when. Ralph set
up a new rule that stated that a person could only talk if he or she is holding the grand seashell,
or the conch. Ralph devised a fair way for everyone to voice their opinions and propose ideas. In
my experience, whenever there are group assignments at school, I always find it important for
each group member to take turns and express their thoughts on the current subject of discussion
before we begin the actual discussion. Ralphs just actions and democratic principles inspired me
to be more understanding and open minded towards others.
Another character known to the reader as Piggy, represents the superego, who is wise,
rational, kind, and thoughtful. He befriends Ralph, but his admirable qualities are taken for
granted and he is mistreated and abused by the other boys on the island, especially Jack. Jack,
represents the id of human nature and is selfish and manipulative during the struggle for survival.
He often acts as a bully towards the boys on the island including Piggy. Piggys experiences on
the island taught me that being thoughtful and kind are respectable qualities; however, they also
made me aware that these qualities could very much be manipulated and taken advantage of.
Examples such as these have made me more cautious with my decision and feelings when
introduced to anything or anyone.
After reading Lord of the Flies, I started analyzing the personalities of the people around
me. I noticed that my grandma often acts as the mediator between my dad and my uncle just like
an ego personality or exhibits the qualities of a superego personality when she gives me advice

Melandovich 5
and care. I have even noticed myself exhibit traits from the components of human nature that I
learned from the book similar to my take on how group assignments and discussions should
work. Reading this novel taught me to be more analytical of these characteristics and
personalities in the real world as well as in other novels. It opened my mind up to variety of book
genres that I never even expected myself to like such as Catcher in the Rye or Fight Club.
When I was younger, reading was never something that I thought would evoke emotion,
visual image, or simple truth, as Amy Tan described it. It was more of a punishment for me to
read and was just as annoying as doing school work. Because I did not read as often as other
children in my grade, I missed out on getting to know myself and getting used to the inner
workings of my own mind. Reading in high school helped me develop my own opinions and as a
result I got to know myself and the world around me a little better.
Although as a child I never felt a sense of adventure when reading and at first it was
difficult for me to grasp concepts presented in literature, I learned how to become completely
absorbed in a book. I am now able to connect with many aspects of a novel and imagine myself
in the place of the main character. I become involved with the conflicts and emotions that the
characters experience and because of this I can see life through different eyes and personalities
that I never even knew existed. Books have and continue to shape the way I view the world, the
people around me, and the way I think myself, and through each novel I learn something new.

Melandovich 6
Works Cited
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.
Tan, Amy. The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. New York: Putnam, 2003. Print.
Frost, Robert, and Louis Untermeyer. The Road Not Taken; an Introduction to Robert Frost.
New York: Holt, 1951. Print.