Friday, October 12, 2007

Understanding Women

The World According to Garp

Written by: John Irving
Published in 1978

Literature demands that you create an imaginary world which is based on the immediate reality and at the same time unique in its own ways. The story of Garp creates this semblance in a perfect execution of creating a reality which is real to the hilt yet it is an imaginary story.
It's a novel about a novelist whose stories are based on his own experiences of life. Furthermore, it's a story of different facets of women empowerment seen through a sympathetic male gaze. Again, it is a story of a family life about parental worries about their children. It's also a story of sexual escapades of different kinds of lust.
There are women of different categories: smart career women, single mother without the wedlock, rape victim, women who cut their tongue as a form of protest, Ellen Jamesians, man tuned into a woman through sexual reassignment, a macho sportsman turning into a docile woman, all these seen from the point of view of a man who's a homemaker.
Finally, this is a book with a deep understanding of life: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

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