Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"A Christmas Carol" for Mormons

For me, Doug Thayer's Will Wonders Never Cease was like watching "A Christmas Carol"
with a teenage boy instead of Ebenezer Scrooge and the boy's stream of consciousness instead of the ghost of Christmas past. Caught in a freak accident and left to fend for himself for nine days under a massive avalanche, the weight of the snow presses down on Kyle with simultaneous guilt we would expect from an introspective Mormon teenager coming to terms with himself in the face of death. Kyle's thoughts, while at time's frustrating and somewhat repetitive, reflect those of a teenager quite well, as he grapples much like an Alma the Younger to redeem his fifteen year old soul through powerful and imposed meditation and self-reflection. 

Reading this novel, I couldn't help but think how badly my parents would have wanted me to be trapped in an avalanche and rethink my life at the age of fifteen. In fact, they might not even be opposed to the idea now. But what was interesting to me was the type of parents that were portrayed through the innermost thoughts of the panicking boy. His mother, Lucille, reminded me a lot of my own mother. She seems to have employed a more hand's off style of parenting in which parents instruct and aid their children while hoping that the example they have set is sufficient reason for their children to make correct choices. However, teenagers will be teenagers, and more times than not, we were able to justify our actions as to live however we wanted to. It made me think about the lessons my parents taught me most effectively, and the lessons that I have realized only with a great many years of hindsight to appreciate.

While the novel is more overtly LDS than the other works we have read (maybe with the exception of Added Upon), I felt that it was realistic to how I probably would have thought if I were put in a similar situation at the age of sixteen. Young members of the church have little other context that they could reflect in, and perhaps we are the same now as we were then. So I enjoyed the novel, but more thoroughly appreciated the challenge of contemplating my own life and the consequences of my actions.

1 comment:

  1. I really like that you turned this novel on yourself. I think a lot of us ended up doing that, but I don't think any of the posts so far are addressing the specifics of what you address here, mainly in regards to parallels you found to your own life. I appreciate that you took it as a challenge, as well.