I have a confession. I didn’t like high school English. Reading and writing, what’s not to like, right? It was an easy hour for me: read a book and write an essay confirming the teachers opinion of a piece of literature. I suppose I could *ahem* should have made class a bit more interesting by arguing points I made up about said piece of literature.
So, what was so heinous? All the freakin’ symbolism. Sometimes I could see it, but a lot of the times it seemed that the teachers were reaching.
Why is Tom Buchanan’s car yellow? What does that mean? He’s flashy. Yellow is flashy. I’m not sure there’s much under the surface of that. Although, my teacher sure thought there was. And what that was, I’ve blocked out.
Yes, some writers so put symbols and hidden meanings in their works. But can’t a kid just read a story and enjoy it for what it is?
Why am I complaining about this now? No, I’m not pining for my days of yore. I just noticed how many times my characters in Julia interact with doors.
Knocking on doors, leaning on door frames, clinging to door jambs. Everywhere!
I’m not doing on purpose, but I hear my high school teaching asking what it means. And if I let my ego loose, I picture high school English teachers everywhere torturing students with essay assignments on why doors were such an important symbol in my story.
Or, perhaps, I just need to get rid of my crutch.
Hmm, what should Julia do here? I know, lean on a door!
Have you ever found yourself doing what you hate (in writing or in life)?