Thursday, June 16, 2016

Those Character's POV That Doesn't Relate to You...(Reading Gets Personal #1)

...well, for this post's context, doesn't relate to me, to be exact.

Well fellows, I'm back! #... K. R. Primawestri reporting for duty to actually start running this blog properly (for the nth time). It is quite an occurrence that I'm posting again in ABIAG in this fasting, Ramadhan month (which is literally went fast since it's already the pass 10th day of fasting...). I hope everyone who is running the holy-obligation of fasting can do the best deed possible in this month of blessing. Amen.

I have been juggling with my undergraduate thesis, mundane housekeeping (that I don't do really well nor actually enough for a reason to my blogging-absence). I haven't read much these days, since I don't remember the last time I finished reading (not yet writing it - which is still my secret dream I don't really show struggle to it actually which is secretly disappoint myself), and also because the fact that sometimes I have to read research article or gets distracted with Youtube.

Actually at first I was thinking of posting a book meme like Scene of Three or Wishful Wednesday but this date is not the time to post. On the other hand I have been absent in reading my usual reads of fiction a bit too long to pick a scene that is worthy of a blog post to ramble about.

Two books (not a bad count actually eh?) that I recall has been finished reading are Paula Hawkin's The Girl on The Train and Paulo Coelho's Adultery. I finished reading those two books for quite long time that I doesn't have enough 'feel' or 'recollections' to write full review about. To be honest though I don't consider those two books to be said as exceptional reading experience, since for me it's quite mediocre although it may have good points. Especially for the Coelho's Adultery in which I highlighted lots of quotes from in my Moonreader+ (oh yea those two books are all electronic books).

Instead of reviewing, I thought I will do a sort-of bookish-opinion post talking about how I sometimes unable to relate to character whose I had 'interacted' with by reading a book written in first-person point of view (which is actually something you would often experience in fiction books these days). It may make some variation of content to this blog, other than this attempt of writing in English, so yeah. I also decide to start tagging this kind of posting with the tag Reading Gets Personal xD because it simply sounds cool.

In my opinion, the thing about first-person POV is, it will give the reader a chance to be engaged more personally with the thoughts and emotions of the respective character (who usually is the main character of the story). It may make the book becomes a more "relatable" experience. A successful first-person POV would make the conflicts and resolution becomes more meaningful value and lasted as the reader also kind of sharing the experience happening in the story to the character as if it's theirs or at least makes it matters for them. Well, actually that's also count for the signs of not just a successful first-person POV, but also a successfully written book. On the other hand, the first-person POV can possibly be not working to (some) reader. It can make some reader who doesn't manage to engage with the character's point of view had to struggle relating themselves to follow along the story or feel sympathy with the character owning the POV. ...andd yeah it also count as signs of a below-average slash mediocre book for me.

I have read several books that the first-person POV aren't helping me to relate well with the conflicts happening in the book, one example of it would be Gayle Forman's Just One Day. If you read my review of it (coughyoushouldcough), I feel less sympathy to Allison's problem with Willem and her parents because I feel that how she gets so 'high' by meeting Willem as if nothing better had never happened to her before him (included her paid trip to Europe by her parent or the present she receive from her mother) are unavoidably annoying me (lol sorry if you like the book and my opinions are offending you), then how she get let down by the departure of Willem are also 'too much' for me.

Regarding my experience of my recent read, I also find that the two main character of The Girl on The Train (Rachel) and Adultery (Linda) are not relatable for me in regard of how the books are using first-person POV to tell their story. It's not because I haven't yet being an adult woman at their age or never experiencing the events in their story, I think the main reason I am unable to relate well with them are how they respond or verbalize what they feel or think to the event in the story are so difficult to be understand from my reader's point of view.

In case of Rachel, although I have tried to understand that she had through an awful state regarding his (ex-)husband and her alcohol problem, I don't 'like' how she seem to be mostly the reason of her low position and kind of lets herself to be in such pitiful state. Maybe the author meant that it's the illustration of 'just how she is flawed and broken', and the event that make the book becomes a mystery reading are somehow give 'sparks' of chance to Rachel so she can pull herself together again, since how she gets involved in the mystery event (#...). Oh, and actually I just recalled that other than Rachel's POV we can also read Anna's POV (who is Rachel's ex-husband new wife) - and for me her character are also somewhat hard to relate, eventhough her POV might be displaying the fear and anxiety aspects from a point of view to the story. I also can not sympathize with Anna because of how I feel that the act she had done to snatch Rachel's husband are somewhat gets payed.

On the other hand, my experience in delving into Linda's story of how she feel so "hollow" (in my attempt to simplify it for this post context) that she commit adultery are also filled with my hard time in trying to understand what is exactly her real problem that underlies the whole story. Maybe I just haven't reach Coelho's 'philosphy' level to understand Linda's dynamics as a character. I still despise her act of adultery, but toward the end of the book after she experience some kind of 'peak-experience' at a spiritual vibe (#...) I think that she may be in a state of losing her 'connections' to the grace of the 'universe' before, and after that 'peak experience' she gets a glimpse of the re-connection (#...). Actually how Mr. Coelho describe the experience with Linda's POV are wonderful to read, but it doesn't help me to understand Linda's conflicts throughout the book. (I would save the part as a Scene of Three material, yay). Well, still in the end what concludes for her are still blurry for me. lol. Maybe I started reading Coelho's from a book that is not "light" enough as a starting point.

So far I think it's what I can share about experiencing a first-person POV and how it influence the level of relatable-ness to a character that in turn contributes to how the overall reading experience are lasted or fail to be meaningful. It would be lovely to know your opinion and experience, so just comment down below, and thanks for reading this far... I hope you can relate to some of my point of view xD, and hopefully as well I could come back with the next Reading Gets Personal.

All the gif image used in this post are found in Google and used for illustrative purpose. The original gif belong to the respective owner.

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