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An Aversion to Reading in Disliking Books by Gerald Graff Essay

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Disliking Books By Gerald Graff is about the authors own aversions, starting as a young boy, who grew up simply disliking reading books, for both academic and leisure purposes. Growing up in his neighborhood, it was highly disregarded for a boy to enjoy reading; they were looked at as “sissies” and had the potential to have been beaten up. He maintained this ideology all the way into his college career, where ironically, he majored in English. Although by this point he replaced his fear of being beaten up with the fear of failing his college courses, he was able to squeak by with doing his homework at the mare minimum. He felt as though he wasn’t able to quite relate, much less, enjoy the text. It wasn’t until his junior year he was…show more content…
Graff was unable to find any real connection between himself and the text. ““Even Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Fitzgerald, whose contemporary world was said to be “close to my own experience,” left me cold. I saw little there that did resemble my experience”” (Graff, Para. 6) Not until he was exposed to the critical debates in his junior year, finally opened his eyes to literature, history and other intellectual pursuits. His first spark came with the discussion over the controversy surrounding The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As always he felt he could not relate his own Chicago lifestyle to the lives of a young southern boy and a runaway slave. His interest started when his teacher explained how many famous critics had disagreed over the true ending of the novel. Graff felt as though he finally found a connection to his required reading, all through the process of reading it critically. “I gained confidence from recognizing that my classmates and I had thoughts that, however stumbling our expression of them, were not too far from the thoughts of famous published critics” (Graff Para. 11) With his new thought process, he found himself rereading the story with excitement, something he had never been able to do previously. Not only did he find himself focused on the material, but had actually been able to put himself into the text for the first time. He later found himself thinking that maybe it
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