Jour 310 TuThurs 3:30
Book Critique: Blaze by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
I was already reading this book when the project was assigned and looking back on what I had already read; I was able to see a lot of the 10 myths of American culture. As for the background, the book is about a man, orphaned as a child, who grows up to be a common criminal and an outcast. As a child, he was thrown down a flight of stairs by his father, severely impairing his ability to learn and think as well as leaving him with a large dent in his forehead. He does not communicate with anyone in his adult life in this book, save for the few encounters with the victims of his robbery, people he buys supplies from, and a stranger who gives him a ride. He has many dialogues with himself in the form of his dead friend/former partner-in-crime, George. The seven American culture myths I found throughout this book, in one way or another were Anti-Intellectualism, Individual Freedom, Material Success, Nuclear Family, Romantic Love, Rural Simplicity, and Vigilant Justice.
The main myth exhibited repeatedly throughout the book was that of Anti-Intellectualism. Blaze, who failed miserably at academics while in school at the orphanage and out of it, was able to get by on what he had learned through his acts of crime and would repeat them in order to survive by getting the tools to survive (money, transportation, food, etc.). Blaze and his partner were constantly able to swindle and outsmart more educationally successful people through wittingly conning them and their businesses.
The first instance of Individual Freedom was exhibited by Blaze and one of his childhood friends while stuck at the orphanage. Using a wallet they had stumbled upon, Blaze and his friend, neither older than 14 at the time, took a bus ride to Boston, stayed at hotels, and went to baseball games. They snuck away from the orphanage early one day to the bus station and got out of town before the...