For July the hosts of The Classics Club have another member submitted question asking “What classic book has changed your view on life, social mores, political views of religion?”
I have to agree with Karen over at BookerTalk that these questions are getting more and more difficult as the year continues and this one in particular is incredibly difficult to answer. So many books have helped to define who I am as a person and very few of them are classics, but I do have two in mind for this monthly meme. My first thought was Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison and there is no question that it opened my eyes, but it didn’t have such a profound impact on my views of the ‘old south’ as the second novel that came to mind: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.
Both of these novels, in addition to many other southern novels such as those by Truman Capote, Carson McCullers and Jim Grimsley, opened my eyes to the poverty of the south that I was not aware of. In high school I remember reading about poverty in urban areas, but I don’t ever remember reading about it being so close to home. What those novels have done is they have further polished my thoughts that helping locally is just as important, if not more so, than sending money and goods to foreign countries. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do those things, but when there are places in the US which are in dire poverty, why would we not help them? The amount of overhead cost to send things abroad would increase the amount of aid to a more local project/concern.