Reading Buddies: A Monster Calls (3)

Part 1 | Part 2
Possible spoilers below.

Part 1 – From Americans Don’t Get Much Holidays to No Tale

1. In the monster’s second tale, the parson’s home was destroyed. Do you think it was the right thing for the monster to do, given his explanation?

I think we’ve already established from the monster’s first story that he likes gray areas, and it’s the same for this one. I don’t really feel that the parson’s house should have been destroyed — I found that it was too cruel. But if you’re willing to give up everything, then you should also be ready to lose everything, too — after all, you’ve given them up. Sometimes, we just don’t know how much that everything is.

This reminds me of one line I read from a YFC conference: If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything. In this case, everything fell for the parson because he let go of all he stood for.

2. Why do you think people find it easy to give up everything they believe in when times are harder?

I think it’s because people want something concrete to hold on to in times of trials. They want some surefire solutions for their problems, or at least, something that will tell them that it will be okay. Beliefs are usually abstract, something that requires faith, and faith requires you to believe even without seeing or knowing if it will be okay. It’s not easy to surrender and trust that everything will be okay so people will grasp anything that comes their way, regardless if it’s for or against their beliefs, if it means ensuring everything will be fine.

3. “Belief is the half of all healing. Belief is the cure, belief in the future that awaits.” Do you think Conor had this kind of belief?

No. Not yet, anyway. He wanted to believe it, I think, but at the back of his mind, there are still those doubts. I’m sure we’ve all had this moment — wanting to believe that things will be okay, but also preparing ourselves for things to not go well in case it doesn’t.

4. Why do you think his Grandmother reacted that way to Conor’s actions? What about his dad?

Like what everyone else in the discussion said, I think his grandma is also just trying to be strong. You know how when want to cry but you stop yourself because you can’t cry yet for some reason? But then when someone else cries, or when someone hugs you, the tears just come? I think it’s the same situation with Conor’s grandmother — she’s been trying to be strong for her daughter, but when she saw her grandson lose control, she finds permission to do so, too.

As for his dad — like I mentioned in the last post, his relationship with Conor is already strained, and I don’t think his dad knew how to really talk to Conor. It doesn’t make it right, but I don’t think it’s wrong either. It’s just sad — sad to be strangers with someone you’re not supposed to be strangers with.


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