Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Post on Prom and Great Expectations


Hi Kirsten! And Kirsten’s readers! Thank you so much for letting me post on your blog.

One of my favorite parts about The Eternal Ones was how Haven had to adjust her view of Iain. How she had ideas about what she thought/hoped/remembered he would be like, but then she continually had to alter her those ideas to fit the actual person, the real situation. I loved that.

I think that having high expectations for a person or an event—and then having to react to the actual person or situation—is something that happens to us over and over again. I remember being a kid and finally getting to Disneyland after really wanting to go and assessing myself on all the rides, Am I having enough fun? Is this as amazing as I thought it would be?

And it seems like another one of those high-expectation events is Prom. I noticed this when I went to Prom myself and I noticed it again when I was teaching high school and chaperoning Prom.

Prom is supposed to be awesome and wonderful and amazing and even if we don’t personally care about our Prom, it seems like it’s still one of those hallmarks of teenage experience and so other people expect it to be amazing for us. So we do what we can to maximize the experience in our favor: try to find the perfect dress, hope for the perfect date, etc.

In Matched, the opening scene (the Match Banquet) is kind of like Prom taken to extremes (and without the dancing). Cassia, the main character, is wearing a beautiful dress and she’s nervous and excited because she’s been looking forward to this night for a very long time. And now she’s about to find out who her Match—the boy she’s chosen to marry—will be. She doesn’t know his name or anything about him, but after tonight that will all change.

So what happens after? How does Cassia have to adjust her view of what her Match would be to fit the actual person, the actual experience? That part, both in fiction (The Eternal Ones!) and in real life, is often the most challenging and exciting to explore.

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