A six year-old judges classic novels solely on their covers.
At a loss as to how to explain the premise of more than a dozen classic works to her kindergarten-aged daughter, one blogger mom decided to find out how they might appear to the mind of a small child. The results will amuse and surprise you, mostly for the fact that six year-olds expect any book they come across to have “a good really nice ending.” How wrong they are…
But don’t worry, no childhood innocence was crushed in the making of this article.
The Great Gatsby
“I think it’s a book about a haunted theme park and it stars a magical magic guy and he’s good and evil and he’s trying to get rid of the ghosts. And I think at the end, since it’s haunted by a ghost, he tried to make the park go on fire and it did. “
“It looks like a book for kids. I think it’s about a donkey and a pig that do not like each other and they both live on a farm for animals. The same farm. It looks like it would be a funny book with a good really nice ending. “
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
“I think it’s a book for kiddies, it’s a colorful book. I think it’s about a tiny bird that flew over a cuckoo bird’s nest, that is why it’s named that. It looks like a really sweet kiddy book.”
“It looks weird. I think this must be a book about a tree. I would not read a book about just a tree. And it looks like it’s a sad tree too since it has no friends.”
A Clockwork Orange
“It’s about a person who is a robot, a very colorful robot. He’s pretty fancy for a robot.”
The Fellowship of the Ring
“This book is about a tree on a hill. The tree is the star of the book and it’s a very nice tree but everyone else is mean. I think the tree has a magical ring and some evil guys capture the ring and put him on the top of the hill so they can watch him. “
“I think this is about a gigantic robot who goes on fire and he doesn’t like himself. It has a sad ending. It looks like a book for teens. The title means fire, a really really really big fire since the number is 451, that would mean it was really hot. So the robot must get really hot. Maybe that is why he is so sad.”
And just for fun…
Fifty Shades of Grey
“On the cover is a very weird looking Zebra. The book is about a zebra that wears pants. It’s a drama book about this zebra guy who likes to go fishing for aces.”
Click here for more hilarious and heartwarming summaries from the mind of a six year-old.
For scholars, there is no bigger coup than finding new information that offers insight to a writer’s processes, character construction, or plot development. Even if one is working with a lesser known writer, there is joy in discovery. To find previously unknown information for an author as popular and extensively researched as William Faulkner is akin to finding a gem in a junkyard.
Sally Wolff-King is a professor and Southern literature scholar at Emory University. She appears to have found the ledger that Faulkner used as a model for the famous scene in Go Down, Moses in which the character Isaac McClassin opens his grandfather’s farm ledgers and discovers his family’s slave-owning past. Many of the character names, used in this and other works, seem to have come from this ledger as well.
The diary/ledger belonged to Frances Terry Leak, a plantation owner. Leak’s great-grandson, Edgar Wiggin Francisco Jr. was a childhood friend of Faulkner’s, and the two men remained friendly throughout their lives. Mr. Francisco’s son, now 79, recalls that Faulkner was a frequent guest in their home and had a keen interest in the ledgers.
Character names that appear in both the ledgers and Faulkner’s novels include Moses, Isaac, and Toney in Go Down, Moses, Caddy/Candace (Candis) and Ben in The Sound and the Fury and Old Rose, Henry, Milly, and Ellen in Absalom, Absalom!.
Of particular interest to scholars is that Faulkner has given many of his white characters the names of slaves listed in the ledgers. Why did Faulkner do this? Professor Wolff-King believes Faulkner is trying to “give the slaves a voice.”