Of the many literary journeys I’ve taken over the past two months, Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” spoke to me like few others works have. Chronicling the parallel lives of two sisters bound by the forces of unfettered love, it whispers powerful words of hope and empowerment alongside its vivid descriptions of heart-wrenching struggle.
But with each day that passed during my freshman year, I must admit I’d grow less and less appreciative of my physical surroundings. Like any other college student, I’d easily let the day’s worries, hopes, and fears consume me, preventing me from slowing down and deliberately breathing in the crisp New England air or stopping to appreciate the painstakingly slow retreat of a seemingly never-ending Boston winter.
Unsparing in its lessons about race and persistent in its sardonic undertones, Thurston’s prose flashes across the page, prompting a level of alertness akin to my iPhone’s razor-edged sirens. Every sentence is a necessary rapping of knuckles at the door, offering a much-needed wake-up call in a world of denial.
Reading them is like dragging yourself through the floodwaters of your backyard ravine after last night's monsoon showers, a staple of any Tucson July. As you trudge forward, you're constantly pulled back by the tautness of the marshy water, threatened by the spines of the shriveled prickly pear cactus floating among you. But you’ve already made it this far and at this point, there’s no turning back. The only option is to keep going.
George Orwell’s "1984" is no different.