My Ambitious Undertaking & Children’s Honesty
This is the first time in my quest that I am writing that my ambition was greater than my ability. I set out to read the first 13 chapters of War of the Worlds, however I only got five done. My excuses are feeble at best and I humbly ask your forgiveness. After a restless four hours of sleep the night before, my heart just wasn’t into reading. I set out to read them and somewhere in the fifth chapter I fell asleep. Today, I am rested but I still have not finished the intended chapters. I shall write today’s post, however, about the five chapters I did read. I know that during this process I am going to have some major stumbling blocks and not everything is going to go smoothly. I vow to never attempt that many chapters at once again. It’s just not going to happen.
I adore books that are written in first person narrative, it allows so much more feeling and thought to be provoked. I think what I find so difficult about this book is that we know so much about Mars now. We know that there are no aliens on that planet, no war loving neighbors, and we know that the planet has a vastly different atmosphere than what the book describes. So I am, yet again, having a hard time separating the facts and the fiction in my overly logical brain. I am determined to forge ahead and write about the chapters with as much conviction and thought as what I provided for Northanger Abbey.
We meet our narrator at the beginning of the story, when Mars is being watched very closely by astronomers. The description of the complacent nature of the world’s reaction to the activity on Mars is spot on. How many times have the warning signs all been pointing in one direction and yet they were thoroughly ignored? I am not a conspiracy nut. I don’t believe that the government had JFK killed and I do believe that Sandy Hook happened exactly as it was reported. However, there is one thing that I believe in my heart, our government ignored the warning signs that led to September 11th. I believe they knew that there were those men taking flying lessons, men on a watch list, and they did nothing to prevent what happened. I just think there were some major signs ignored in the situation. I think that after September 11th, the government preyed on people’s emotions to enter us in a war that we had no business entering. Yes, this is the one conspiracy I believe in and here’s why, human nature has us pre-programmed to ignore facts that do not line up with what we know. In our limited knowledge, we know what we know and anything else we ignore. I have always loved the following quote:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
The reason being is that it is so dang accurate. We tell what we know to be a fact and ignore the rest. It’s our nature. That’s why debates of logic are so difficult, it’s all perspective based on only that person’s knowledge base. The first chapters of this book show this beautifully. There was nothing in the papers, maybe one small blurb, and everyone ignored the warning signs. They were there but their limited knowledge base would not allow them to see the warnings.
The one scene I did love a lot was when the cylinder was opening, the crowd was gathered, and the only person who found this alarming was a poor little boy. This little boy probably had more street sense and logic than any of the adults there, including the nuts carrying the banner for communication. He knew that nothing good was coming and he high tailed it out of there. It’s a fabulous scene. Sometimes it’s the honesty and unclouded eyes of children that see the truth before any of the adults in their world can. It is often times children who tell us exactly what we need to hear. They don’t have the social graces not to and it’s a fantastic thing. Often times adults can go through life with blinders on but children don’t have them yet. I have a fantastic example actually. When my son was around six I took him on a date day. We were having a lovely meal at the local McDonalds before going to a movie. Now as we’re eating I notice that he’s very distracted. He keeps looking out the window. So upon following his eye, I notice two homeless men sitting in the shade of the building next door. Generally I, like many people, ignore the homeless. Is it something I am proud of? No. The only thing I can say in my defense is that where I live it becomes hard to determine who is truly in need and those that are just trying to pay for their drug habit. These two men, I had not seen, were starving. They were as skeletal as any humans I have ever seen. It was bothering my son but I decided to wait to see how he would handle the situation. When we were done with our meal, he pulled on my sleeve and asked if there was any way we could buy those two men something to eat. I told him sure but I couldn’t afford two additional meals but I would do a sandwich each. So we are standing in line and he struck up a conversation with the woman behind him about how he was going to feed the two men who were hungry. He basically guilted her into buying some french fries and the man behind her bought the sodas. He gladly took the meals out to the two men, who blessed him and were actually crying, and we went about our day. It took a child to motivate adults to feed those that were starving. Just like it took this young boy to declare that something horrible was about to happen. I love that Wells put that in the chapter because it captivates the truth of life, the children are the ones who know what’s up, we’re just too jaded!
Challenge Chapters – 6-12