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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

"And then I realize: She doesn't know. He hasn't told her. My father has a secret from my mother.

And I have a horrible thought.

So, their Match isn't perfect after all.

The moment I think it, I wish it back. If their Match isn't perfect, then what are the chances that mine will be?" - pg. 162

"Who am I to try to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe, protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me?

The answer is: I'm not anyone. I'm just one of the people who happened to fall in the majority." - pg. 239

"The two desires struggle within me: the desire to be safe, and the desire to know. I cannot tell which one will win." - pg. 255

"Xander says nothing ... it's exactly like the last time we had an argument and he refused to speak to me. Years ago, when I decided that I didn't like playing the games as much as I once had. Xander was mad. 'But no one else plays like you,' he said."
Matched  - Ally Condie

I wish I was better about reflecting on quotes that strike me as I'm reading the book, but I read this book so fast for book club that I had no time to write about it. So, a few reasons that the quotes above struck me.

 

P. 162. Like Cassia, I started seeing my parents in a whole new way when I became engaged. My parents have always had a "happy" marriage. I knew this when I compared the dynamics in our homes to the dynamics in the homes of my friends. I only remember one time when something my dad did or said really broke my mom's heart; there may have been other times, but none of them were obvious enough for us kids to pick up on.

 

Yet, none of us girls were rushing to get married. My mom asked, "Do we make marriage look so bad?" It's a difficult question. Sometimes, I said that they had such a good marriage that it seemed hard to follow up, difficult to find someone who would be as good a "match" for me. At the same time, I could see the little cracks in their relationship, too -- the moments of tension, the hidden resentments. And I feared those; seeing that they existed in a marriage that I and all my friends idolized as "good" brought home the reality that even good marriages are not perfect, and mine wouldn't be, either. Still, I'm glad I grew up with a model of what a stable, loving marriage can look like.

 

Pg. 239. It's the second part of this quote that really gets me. Let's set aside the fact that Cassia probably isn't even actually "in" the majority, unless we're speaking of "the majority" as the power holders/enfranchised rather than the group with the greatest population. And of course, one could argue that, in a book like this, it's laughable to claim the "majority" hold any power. At the same time, she is a part of the population that benefits from "they system," as messed up as it is. And so am I. I'm White and middle class and college-educated, gainfully employed and happily married. Sometimes, my privilege terrifies me. Who am I to enjoy these things? Like Cassia, I'm not anyone. Just someone who was lucky enough to be born in the right place, in the right time. Most of the world lives in poverty; although I've been "broke," I've never experienced the true hardship of not having enough to eat, or not having a roof over my head. This makes me wealthy indeed. And I've done very little to create or contribute to this world that favors me and those like me over others. That can be an overwhelming thought. Green pill, please?

 

Pg. 255. I also feel conflicting desires to know and to be safe. My desire to know has pushed me to do things that terrify me, like get on airplanes, go on first dates, and get married. There are other things I long for but know I'd be too afraid to explore, even if I could -- like traveling in space, or deep-sea ocean diving. Still, I'm glad that my desire to know has pushed me outside my comfort zone, and that my desire to be safe has, well, kept me safe.

 

I guess I forgot to include a page number on the last quote. That's OK. I didn't have much to say about it, anyway. Just that, I get it.