Sunday, 12 February 2012

Positive Critique of Push by Sapphire

The above link contains a uniquely positive critique of Push by Sapphire, but unlike other critiques, this one states fifteen ways in which Push positively affected the critic as a reader. After reading the book, they claim, ' I felt like I wanted to go out and do something positive and uplifting because the novel was so intense.' The critic acknowledges that there were many hurdles and problems Precious had to overcome within the novel; but was curious about what could be learned from it and applied to our daily lives.

Each lesson point is numbered and given a quotation from the novel to back up the reasoning behind it, such as:

 1. Precious had a desire for better: "I really want to learn. Everyday I tell myself something gonna happen…I’m gonna break through or somebody gonna break through to me—I’m gonna learn, catch up, be normal, change my seat to the front of the class."

By this we can see that Precious was determined to better herself, and if we wanted to take something positive from her being illiterate and going to a special school, we can learn to always desire better things for ourselves in order to reach our full potentials.

I found this a very interesting take on the controversial issues within this book. Instead of focusing on the appalling and often horrific situations Precious found herself in, the critic focuses on what Precious did to remedy her situation - on what strengths she showed; strengths we could all do with paying attention to from time to time.

Another point i found interesting was the message the critic thought the book gave readers with regards to our treatment of other people. Obviously, in writing the novel, Sapphire wanted to highlight the prevelant abuse (particularly incestuous), and poverty that occurs within society, most especially in so called African American ghettos; but i think i agree that the book contains a deeper message as to how we should help one another by offering support.

14. Precious had a good support system:
The girls in Precious’ class were there for her and had similar experiences. They were able to share their stories and help each other heal.
"They (the girls) and Ms. Rain is my friends and family.
At least when I look at the girls I see them and when they look they see ME, not what I look like."
Precious also had good community support. She found help through the abuse support group and the HIV Positive support group. Both groups helped her connect with and talk to others who could relate to her problems; consequently Precious did not feel alone.

The writer of this critique saw the potential within the novel to guide our treatment of not only ourselves, but other people too; instead of focusing on the way in which it was written or the incidents that made up the plot, this critique has focused on the lessons that can be learned from really listening to the words on the paper and letting them sink in.

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