I am not sure if the novel Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is as thought-provoking as I make it out to be, or it just happened that I read it at a time when my brain wanted to work. Anyway, I thought Stragirl was a wonderful read and here are a few thoughts I have about the book (well not really about the story but more on the themes that it incorporated in the story):
First thought: A lot of people tend to hate people who are different. The majority tends to despise the non-conformists because well, they are different. But in my understanding, the root of this is because non-conformists tend to live in such a different manner from most people and yet they look completely satisfied with their lives and if you were standing on the other side, you might just feel really unhappy. Why? I can think of two.
- One: they are completely happy and you’re not exactly feeling the same way, which gives you an idea that what you are doing with your life is wrong.
- Two: people have a constant association of being different from one another to being disagreeable with each other. We often feel like if the other person is in many ways different from us, it would be impossible to get along, which could lead to misunderstanding and ultimately hate. We often cling to this assumption too much that we let it destroy our chances of actually getting to like someone.
Second thought: People so often fall in love with fantasies and they chase after it but at the same time, they are afraid of the actual encounter. I have heard and read so many times how people long for the fairy tale story, getting to meet the princess or the knight in shining armor but whenever they do arrive we run away from the situation and at worst condemn the person for being unrealistic(unfitting in our little realities). Having met Stargirl in this novel, I have constantly felt like she is one of those Disney princesses, kind, happy, optimistic, and gentle and definitely one who stands out from the sea of people yet despite all of these, people would actually hate her. I think it is curious how many of us would actually aspire to have these descriptions attributed to ourselves and yet end up hating the actual thing. Maybe because we still think that such things are so unattainable that we regard anything that comes close as unreal, not true, a fake or perhaps because we are so focused on the reality of things that we deny such magic and difference to be a part of our lives, because somewhere in the back of our minds we cling to the thought that such things will never fit and shouldn’t. Why? I have no idea.
Third thought: Do I love Stargirl? No. Do I hate her? No. I think Stargirl as a character is very admirable and I think the ending to this story was inspirational. Having the weird girl, who was shunned by everybody, become the best memory of people was magical and beautiful and I am truly happy that the author gave some justice to the kindness and pure-heartedness of Stragirl by making her into the miracle that their high school needed but at the same time I do not want to be a hypocrite about all of these. I think it is amazing that Stargirl is the kind of person who is not afraid to be 100% truly who she is whatever the situation may be. I actually find it really admirable since I know that I can never achieve that. Though, I think that I am very much like Leo. I cannot lie to myself and say that I do not care about what other people think, because I do. It is not the wisest thing to say but I do believe that we cannot just live by our own rules. We cannot live like the world is for ours to take. There is a limitless amount of liberty and honesty that comes with living fully the way you are, but the truth still remains that the world is not ours. There are billions of others living with us and when we always live to the extent of our freedom, someone is bound to get stepped on. People prefer to live their life in different ways, none more accurate than the others, and that for me is the reason to consider the existence of norms. Not to be pro conformity, I just believe that existing in this world is not limited to discovering oneself, living out your own life and making memories to keep. It is also about existing with other people, and though staying true to who you are is always a good thing, we also have to conform once in a while so that others can have a space to live the way they want to.