Everyone has the experience of reading a novel hidden behind a textbook during class, worrying about getting caught by a teacher. It was a desperate effort to forget the stress from a college entrance exam and worries about an uncertain future. The author, who is a writer and a literature critic, read 25 books again that he read at the age of 17 as an adult and explains the things unnoticed at the time from the perspectives of psychology and philosophy.
In “My Sweet Orange Tree,” the main character Zeze causes much trouble as a result of the hurt he got from his violent father but meets Valadares who heals Zeze’s emotional wounds. When Zeze grows up, he helps children. Looking at the individual healing expanding to a bigger society, the author says humans’ open mind to take a step forward to a better direction is precious. In “The Little Mermaid,” the mermaid who fell in love with the prince chooses to dissolve into foam even though she has to stick a dagger into him to keep her life. After experiencing many ups and downs of love, the author finds the bravery to endure suffering in the mermaid’s decision.
In the “Dialogues of Plato,” Socrates continuously asks himself the question of “Who am I?”. The author realizes that that question, which asks one’s use, is the only way to keep one’s thoughts from being stuck and rotting.
The author says one becomes a true adult by being aware of others’ lives through literature as enlightenment from others’ stories makes people who they truly are. The books that I read in school catch my eyes again.