F. Scott Fitzgerald
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This particular scene—and the whole book, really—stands out as a reminder of how friendship is a pivotal backbone to the Harry Potter series. The last two pages of “The Quidditch Final” bursts with pure happiness and togetherness as the students— minus the Slytherin students, of course—embrace one another after Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup. A positive energy wafts off the pages. In this moment, the story transcends the world of wizardry bordering muggles. This scene is of friends enjoying the moment, of a team reveling in their winning the big game. Whether good or evil, wizard or muggle, hippogriff or werewolf—the celebration of happiness amongst friends seems relatable here.
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Sometimes, the hope that there is a far-away land where kids can always be kids is all you need.
Window is open and I’m waiting, okay Peter?
Lately, I have been receiving a lot of unsolicited advice from people I know about how to be successful in the “adult” world. (What really makes a person an adult, anyway?) I have been told to never frown, always agree, be personable but not too open, never cry, and do what you’re told.
Did someone forget to tell me I get to become a robot, too?!?!
Now, I’m not saying that you should walk into class or work sobbing or ranting on about something that is bothering you, but the advice to basically forgo all emotion to be “professional” seems a little far-fetched and unnecessary to me. What if Luna Lovegood had shed her quirky character and clothing to “fit in?” What if Cinderella didn’t sneak out to go to the ball? What would have happened to Arendelle if Anna wasn’t brave enough to think with her heart? The endings of these stories wouldn’t have been the same. The characters wouldn’t have been worth writing about.
Every character I’ve ever loved and sought to be like has been brave, unique, honest, and unapologetically themselves. So, to all of the Lunas, Cinderellas, Annas, Hermiones, Harrys, and Bilbos, don’t be afraid to be different, to be honest, and to be human. The beauty of humanity is the ability to feel, to laugh, to cry, and to be wonderfully flawed.
Gayle Forman, If I Stay
Gayle Forman, you got it right with this quote. Adam expresses that Mia is a complex, deep person. He seems understands the many levels she has, even though he might not understand every level.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Veronica Roth, Insurgent
This quote highlights the really important idea that a community does not have to be an organized, government-run place. A community—as the factionless symbolize—can be a group of people supporting and caring for one another. The factions in Roth’s series demonstrated how an assimilated group of people survive together. But, that is not how the world works. In reality, I think we are more like the factionless, in that, we are all different people with multiple desires. There are people who want to be both brave and smart, selfless and daring.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury’s novel poses the unique questions, “What if life was like this? What would the effect be?” This quote initiates contemplation of what might happen if education, reading, and thought-provoking jobs disappeared. In the world Bradbury created, he designed a time where everything is immediate, uniform, and simplified. Could anyone, at least anyone who is as obsessed with books and learning as I am, imagine a time where there isn’t time to indulge in books and think about the unique possibilities life presents? To me, this quote comes across as a warning that these elements of life and learning need to be preserved, that people should choose careers that are difficult yet pleasurable, and that people should cherish opportunities to learn.