Perhaps there is truth in the magic of dates. On September 11, 1999 an unimaginable tragedy occurred in New York, as America woke up to the crumbling and enflamed Twin Towers.
On September 11, 1966 on the other hand, a story of warmth and humanity contradicting what has been taught in American High Schools for so long, was happening in Australia. This story reframes humanity and gives hope.
When I was in high school and junior high, almost all of the books we were forced to read were dark accounts of humanity, the evils of society and our world. The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and The Lord of the Flies are titles that everyone recognizes. My fellow students and I all wondered why we were subjected to a deluge of darkness at the dawn of life, and rightly so.
Now I see this wonderful story, the true story of the Lord of the Flies, not written by a bitter drunkard, but by the true history of six boys stranded on a deserted island and how they survived for a year and a half all alone by the goodwill of their hearts, comraderie, and their sheer determination.
I have often thought that literary education stands to change. I believe it is ridiculous that our youth should be subjected to suffer through these books, when much more optimistic ones abound. And clearly, as it is proven here, that dark view of society is simply not the only truth, and certainly not the only one we should be giving our next generation. I call for a cleansing of the shelves, a reevaluation of what is important so that we can envision and create a brighter and more human future.