The usual misconception about Mr. Darwin’s theory is that it meant that humans are great great descendants of apes. And I’m guilty of believing that, of course, I thought I have known it by heart all through out high school, my teachers discussed about it, they settled debates in which sometimes I am shunted to the affirmative side and forced to defend Mr. Darwin. It was only in college that I realized the whole truth that the theory was really about the idea that apes and humans have the same common and one ancestor. The idea came really as shocking to me, as we have been taught that we really were descendants of monkeys. But even worse was this idea of mine that Mr. Darwin formulated this theory because of his self-realization that he looked like an ape.
Whenever we talked about stories in high school, we never really discussed the story as it is, not in the same way that we discussed it in our major class. We don’t talk about the historical and cultural contexts, the underlying motives or the author’s background. The main focus for the story itself is not even the plot construction, how the events unfold, but it had always been about the moral lesson. Yep, I knew how to derive moral lessons out of those stories. But I remember one time when we were tasked to review a story and surprisingly, I couldn’t derive a single stinking moral lesson out of it. Why though?
I forgot the title of the story and the whole idea, but all I could remember was it was just a reflection of something, a realization of an event perhaps, but I couldn’t categorize it as a moral lesson really. That disturbed me a lot. Are all short stories required to have a moral lesson? I think not, but it should have an insight to ponder on at least. And for me, an insight is equally different from a moral lesson.
Maybe that time the moral lesson of the story couldn’t penetrate in my head. Or maybe I was turning bad. Sigh. Either of the two will do.
There was a time when I forgot the readings for the next major class. As I can’t concentrate without my own personal readings (with marginal notes and own private scribbles, haha…) I went back to the boarding house which was just a walking distance from school. The creepy part was that, as I was about to reach the main library, I encountered a snake just a step away from me. It was a green snake, all through out, and totally gross. You might puke yourself if you’d see that. I ran back to school, I could almost climb the oblation statue for help. Jeez, that snake, when I think about it in my head, it gives me the creeps. I ran back to school and cried. Uh huh, the fear of death because of one grossly animal. Because of that incident, I couldn’t visit the main library anymore (which was actually loaded with more interesting books) and I couldn’t go home without someone to share death in case the green snake will strike again.