Task Six: Psycho-therapy
We all live solitary lives. Each person’s viewpoint is completely unique to the next persons’. We are all confined to the solitude inside our minds; a solitude that forces us to confront our emotions, our struggles, our desires.
The beautiful thing about this scary experience is that somehow, we are all experiencing it together. I think that the obstruction to your happiness lies in your inability to break free from your internal state of anxiety to realize that other individuals also face similar restlessness and unease. You are caught up in your own mind, but I do not blame you, nor think that this behavior is unusual. It is to be expected from someone in your shoes. Tourettes is an internal struggle to attain an equilibrium which can never be reached. All of the attempts at normalcy are unsatisfactory.
My main suggestion is to be less concerned with how you are feeling and start thinking more about how others are feeling. I think it would be beneficial because it will help you create bonds with other people. Obviously, this task will be especially difficult for someone in your unique position. It is rewarding to understand and appreciation how timelines intersect, to understand the chemistry of interactions.
Good luck Lionel,
Vanessa Correia MD
Task Seven: Haiku
A glass of water
Earthquake; spilling everywhere
This is my Tourettes.
Task Three: FA Brainstorm (Aspects)
- The major overarching theme of the book. What kind of universal human truth does this novel suggest?
I love writing about theme, because it is all-encompassing. It involves the setting, the plot, the characters, the tone, the dialogue. All of these elements of fiction are components of the theme. I think writing about theme is soothing because it allows me to deeply reflect on the novel and understand why Jonathan Lethem wrote it the way he did.
Some themes in the novel: identity, “me vs. world struggle” (individual versus society), struggles of intimacy, voluntary/involuntary isolation, vulnerability vs. strength (what is strength anyway? how is it defined?), stoicism, honoring/respecting authority, etc. The list goes on and on. All aspects of the novel nightlight these themes. I think it would be interesting to give my own interpretations.
Although Lionel’s condition is unique (and I can’t say I know what it feels like to have Tourettes or obsessive-compulsions) , I can identify with his internal conflicts. He is always so concerned about how other people view him, which is something I struggle with myself. On a daily basis I face embarrassment and incessant feelings of awkwardness and inferiority. Lionel’s experience with these struggles are amplified by his illness. It makes me wonder what kind of person he would be if he didn’t suffer from Tourettes. Would he be more confident? More outgoing? I think he might even be less interesting, and I don’t think he would’ve made for a great protagonist. The humor and morosity would be sucked out of the novel.
(This brainstorm was extremely helpful)