Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hit's and Misses

Today, I finished the third Graham Greene book, Monsignor Quixote, which is apparently a re-working of the classic Don Quixote. While I haven't read that yet, I do know a little about it, thanks to Huck Finn. The book itself is entertaining, but I suppose some people will find the discussions about communism and Catholicism boring, but if you want to look on the bright side, you could see this as an entertaining way to learn/read a discussion. Because the book is set in Spain, which if I remember correctly was fascist (in the past) and had struggles with communism (Hitler even testing out his new fighter planes there to defeat communism), I suppose that's why the book discussed communism, even though it's "outdated" nowadays (although China is communist, it's more totalitarian with a free economy, since communism requires the abolishment of the class system, maybe it's more socialist?). But still, it's a really fun book, but the ending is really moving.

Reading Monsignor Quixote was a really good stress reliever after reading The Way Home by Mary Pride. Again, it's not a book that I would read if I had a choice, but my aunt did ask me to read it. The premise of the book is basically against feminism and pro-"home-working" (Author's word).There are good points in the book, but sadly, they all appear in the later part of the book, although one good point is that it is very thought provoking, such that I had to take notes on everything that was logically unsound/made her argument weak (in my opinion). The bad point's are so many, and so glaring, that they eclipse the good points, which is an encouragement of staying-at-home.

The first thing I take issue with is her tone, she uses a lot of sarcasm and blanket statements. And reading the comments about her book, there's a lot about hypocrisy, which I have to concur with. One striking example is when she says that she is "timid", but her whole book has an aggressive tone. Another related issue is her way of quoting, where she doesn't give the context of the passage. I once heard a preacher say "A text without a context is just a pretext for what you want it to say", smart words, which I've taken to heart.

Another big problem is that she's not neutral. I'm not saying that she has to be completely neutral, you have to take a stand, against feminism or for it. The "non-neutrality" that I don't like is her inclusion of politics, which I feel is a red herring. She is obviously a republican, and reminds me of the Tea Party. Her constant referring to America as "Socialist" or "Communist" when it's so obviously not (look at USSR/China) does her no favours. And if you look at the UN and such, you'll see that even as America looks out for it's own interest, it doesn't display socialist tendencies (at least not to me), but from how she rights, you'll think that America is a Totalitarian, Communist Country.

There's a lot to say, but I'm stopping here, at her use of examples (I suppose it's related to quoting, but for me, it warrant's a paragraph of its own). Her examples seem to be very twisted, and her argument based on one passage. For most of the book, I was wondering, where is Proverbs 31? And it was way way way behind, in Chapter 12. And the example, that Proverbs 31 did not show the Godly Women as a "merchant"/having a career, is because she supplies merchant's not that she is a merchant. It may be because she didn't define anything at all, but to me (taking a really basic level of business), this implies that the women mentioned is a merchant, albeit, one in the earlier channels of distribution.

It's really sad, because this book could have been so good. A more effective method, I think, is that she tells her own experience, rather than launching into a tirade. In my family, my mom went back to work (but she has 4 kids, which contradicts her assumption that working -gasp- takes away the chance for women to have kids), and there are stay at home mom's in my family, but a lot of them also work. And all my cousin's and I are the same (kind of normal).

I suppose, action really does speak louder than words.

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