I need to read or write about something that isn’t Charles Dickens

In the last five days, I have read Great Expectations and Hard Times (both by Charles Dickens), and written an 11 page paper on them. In the Life of Michael Rhodes, by Michael Rhodes, Michael, sometimes known as Mike, decides after spending a great deal of time reading and writing about Charles Dickens (great English novelist of the 19th century), that he must find some relief before sleeping. Having a tutorial at 9 am, and finding himself done with his paper at 3 am, he feels pressed for time. It is for this reason that he chooses the medium of the weblog to escape from the mundain business of school — an activity all readers can relate to, and which makes the subject of this novel truly an everyman. Indeed, Rhodes’ use of the everyman technique to illustrate the drivel written by the average college freshman reflects the strain of intellectual thought most dominant in the day, a sort of historical scholarship with an abandon for out-of-the-way-of-autobiographical-interpretation methods of interpretation and analysis of works by authors whose lives are reflected in the novels they write about themselves, and whose biographers write about them as well, though not in novel form, for the autobiographer has already done that. So Rhodes chooses this ‘realistic’ style of writing to convey his frustration with the general ineptitude of the night to last longer than the hours required for a human being (animal; descended from apes; very dexterous with hands, through help of opposable thumb) to achieve a satisfactory amount of rest for their recovery of indebted energy, minus the number of hours required to complete said paper. This symbolizes his inability to connect with his fellow high-school-junior-level paper writers, who write not as relief from actual paper writing, but write in their unaffected style, in earnest.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Ophelia, get thee to a nunnery!


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