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Where books are concerned these days, we notice that the ‘series style’ is in vogue which right now does not seem to want to go. Where L.M.Montgomery is concerned however, she wrote her series  way back in the early part of the 20th century… & her works are classics. L.M.Montgomery’s bookEmily Of New Moon’ has always according to me been a source of inspiration where writing has been concerned. The book revolves around the character of Emily who loses her father by age seven & is by lot adopted by the spinster clan of her mother’s family at New Moon. The story line is gentle & careful where details are concerned, making the book a wonderful read.

However, children & teenagers these days don’t fancy the innocent Emily of New Moon … they prefer action packed dramas between people & creatures that are not real. The modern day fiction characters have dug the grave of many real life characters & Emily is sadly one of them. However, Emily in her sort of coma stage is still quite immortal as her life story is as real as ours….even though she is just a character in a book. Her story is constantly being repeated in society & so she though not remembered today…..can never really be forgotten.

I visit many book stalls & at times I have to check very carefully whether the book I have picked is not by chance something in the middle…….middle of a series that is. Every book these days & every film as well are in ‘series mode’ & nothing is ending to everyone’s satisfaction. This only indicates that people today do not  & cannot accept that everything in this world has an ending & that life cannot be continuously prolonged……..all good things must come to an end, like good classics do. I’ve always when reading the demure & introverted Emily felt that although it to is a series…..why is it so different from modern day series ? The reason I found out was that Emily describes reality which is always logical & precise…….those who enter these realms must also one day leave… ideas & fresh stories should come forth from an author so that an author is not typecast forever. A writer should always write new works of art so that the imagination does not get stagnant with just one plot of one saga.

I admire people who go gaga over sagas as they do not get bored at all while they read the same plots over & over again but still believe that they are reading something new ! I cannot fathom their thirst for more similar literature, but I can understand that like every other human……they too do not wish their favourite story to come to an end…..& when it does, the reaction of all such readers are typical of the regular drug abuser……books are not drugs…they are panaceas of life, not over stretched dead bodies or scripts.

The Emily series being a classic is however, more different in its simplicity than extravagance….the author knew where she had to end & she jolly well ended it !!!

The drama of Emily’s life is unfurled very tenderly by the pen strokes of Montgomery; Emily’s dreams, wishes, imagination, friends, teachers etc., are the planets which revolve around a true classic story. The author goes also to the extreme of indirectly indicating Emily’s spelling mistakes & how they improve as the years go by………as we turn the page & get mature just like little Emily. Compared to ‘Anne Shirley’ who is a popular character among Montgomery books , Emily is very impulsive but also very secretive like all artists are. Her child like emotions are at times not so child like if the reader sinks deeper into the storyline.

Many situations in the book are quite similar to ‘Anne Of Green Gables’ but the personalities of both the protagonists are different & this difference has been maintained by the author throughout the book which still can capture the readers attention. It is a profound work which captivates a reader where dialogues & emotions are concerned. There are also many ironical parts in the book, none greater than the last chapter where Mr. Carpenter (Emily’s school master) actually mocks Emily’s poems which to us seem outstanding. Indirectly, Montgomery indicates to the reader that poetry is quite a subjective concept which can only be understood by tuning in on the emotional side of the verse.

Many other short stories or tales are carefully introduced into the manuscript by the author like the tale of Isle’s mother, Cousin Jimmy’s sad accident, Teddy’s peculiar mother etc., all which add to the central theme, not diverting our attention. These short incidents are wholesome which digests into the reader’s system. These characters are shadowy however, & much of their descriptions portray them to be people who have been hurt physically, mentally & even emotionally in the past. Emily’s ‘descriptions’ throughout the narrative at times makes us laugh & at other times makes us ponder over our own hidden phantoms. Like Anne of Green Gables, Emily too makes quite a few mistakes but…they are fewer in comparison.

All in all however I must conclude that ‘Emily Of New Moon’ is a classic which can live on as we grow up….day by day….minute by minute……second by second.

Image Coutesy: Google Images

The Ben Carson’s Story On Reading Good Books:

The other day, I came across a lesson in the 5th grade English Literature textbook about the famous & highly regarded Dr.Benjamin Carson. The lesson dealt with the fact that Ben Carson’s mother, Sonya Carson had ignited the lamp of learning & excellence in the minds of both her children by restricting their television viewing to two programmes per week. In that place, the boys were required to visit the library each week to pick up books to read after which they had to write a book report for each book that they read. They had to then submit their book report to their mother. According to Dr. Ben Carson, this act of their hard working mother was the cause of him becoming a neurosurgeon & his elder brother Curtis an engineer.

I was highly impressed by this story but……I had to be practical…..the year Ben Carson’s mother disciplined her children from watching the television to reading books was 1961……things have changed since then.

Today, it is not easy to get children of any age group to read books & especially good literature…..but it is not impossible. I’ve noticed that parents these days focus only in developing their child’s I.Q. instead of their E.Q. Therefore even though the children of today have a lot of potential, due to the lack of moralistic development, they do not progress further in their overall development. The fact however still remains the same which is that we need mothers like Sonya Carson. She is a woman who wanted to give her children the key to the world. She also as I have seen in the lesson, instilled the belief in her children that BEING BLACK & POOR WAS A PITIFUL EXCUSE FOR NOT WANTING TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN LIFE. This sentence of profound wisdom was not spoken by a university graduate, but by a single mother who was a domestic help & who had only studied till the third grade. If she can realize the power within a human being for goodness & perseverance…….then why can’t we?

Dr. Ben Carson states plainly that books had developed his brain & also his imagination which made him one of the foremost neurosurgeons in the world who was the first to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head in the year 1987. Where books are concerned, there is no limitation to one’s imagination. Ben Carson’s story now has become a milestone in the history of science……not because he watched television constantly…..but because of his reading.

Sonya Carson was an ordinary single mother, who was interested in the overall development of her children. When she saw the books in the people’s houses where she worked, she immediately took it upon herself to shift her children’s focus from ‘the box to books’ which ultimately changed their grades, mind & life for the better.

Audio-visual media is good to a certain degree but, we must remember that such media does not develop our minds but stagnates it as it does everything for its viewer…….including the thinking part of it……the viewer is then just a mute spectator. In a book however, a reader is more in command of his imagination & is able to develop his I.Q as well as his E.Q.

The Dr. Ben Carson’s story has certainly influenced me to continue allowing my students to read good literature & other good books so that they too realize that ANYTHING IN LIFE IS POSSIBLE, REGARDLESS OF WHAT COLOUR A PERSON IS OR WHERE HE COMES FROM.

Image Courtesy:

via Google Images

‘Roald Dahl poem on ‘Television’ and on encouraging children to read’ (Classics for Children)

We normally find a lot of short stories as well as certain non-fiction articles dealing with the plus points of reading good literature……..but, do any poems encourage us to read good literature ??????.......One does. This poem which encourages a student to read more is Roald Dahl’s ‘Television’ which is a masterpiece.

The poem ‘Television’ by famous children fiction author Roald Dahl goes on to explain that the television is a hypnotizer which dulls the imagination of children by all the filth it telecasts. According to Dahl, children who watch the television just constantly stare at the screen bedazzled by the shows which completely control their minds, so much so that they find it impossible to do or think of anything else.

I share Roald Dahl’s judgement about the television set & its morbid shows that are turning our young generation into zombies where thinking is concerned. Values, morals & ethics are thrown into the dustbin & bizarre information provided by the media is being constantly chewed & digested by children these days…& also by adults at times…if not all the time.

However, Roald Dahl supplements a substitute in the place of the gross television, & that thing is reading! He states in his poem in a very unique fashion that before the television had come to pass, children used to spend their time reading quality books which he states in an indirect manner: 

        Develops their imagination 
Sharpens their senses
                                     Transports them to the most wonderful places
                                            Allows them to spend their leisure time qualitatively

It is very difficult however to rid the idiot box from our homes &…it has now become a necessity. There are some good points about television watching especially where the news is concerned to make the pupil aware of what is happening in society but most of the time, the television is unable to censor the content being broadcast which ultimately leads to a sort of ‘early maturation’ of young students. Books on the other hand can be controlled where information is concerned & always benefits the minds of the scholar. I would not go too far as Roald Dahl did to call the television a ‘ridiculous machine’ (though I for my own self do not watch it at all) because there are some plus points which aid in the instruction of pupils who can absorb more information with the aid of audio-visual stimuli which the television is a master resource. On the whole however, books & reading broadens a child’s as well as an adults thinking processes which is mentioned very clearly in my latest book ‘Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children To Read Them’.

Roald Dahl also in this poem describes the way an adult can initiate the reading habit in children by throwing the television away!......I would not go to that extreme but, I would certainly delimit television watching among my students to an hour & a half every day which right now is considered a very healthy habit for the brain. It is a small indulgence which we can afford for our children who will in the future, hold the reins of our development towards greater heights. According to Roald Dahl, by the installation of a book shelf with a lot of books, children in a few days time would definitely take the hint & start to read…… comes the suggestion technique in Psychology which is put in good use. I use the same method of suggestion for my students by setting up a lot of books in the tuition house which indirectly influence their minds & they start to read. Like in the poem, I too had to encounter at first a lot of ‘dirty looks’ from the pupils but in the end, all went well.

Reading also has changed in the past few years as well as studying. The invention of the iPad (or innovation) & other tablets have led to a sort of culture revolution throughout the world BUT…..we should remember that the iPad was made for man, not man for the iPad……our minds should be in our control & not in the control of a television, mobile phone, smart phone or a tablet……otherwise, the saying will sadly come true which states that we all are living in society where there are smart phones but stupid people!!!

On this note, I beseech all & sundry to spend their time qualitatively by reading good books & I bet if everyone does, Roald Dahl’s words in verse will come true when he states that:

“And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!

You watch the slowly growing joy

That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen

They'll wonder what they'd ever seen

In that ridiculous machine,

That nauseating, foul, unclean,

Repulsive television screen!”


Extract taken from the poem ‘Television’ by Roald Dahl 

Image Courtesy:

Patricia Neal and Roald Dahl, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, April 20, 1954

A link to my latest book, which discusses why we should encourage children to read classics, Through this book I introduce to you the various classics that have influenced me, the different skills one can develop by reading good literature and how sometimes good fiction makes reality a lot more tolerable.

A link to my interview:

A link to a blog article on why my book is a ‘MUST READ FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS’