I’m about 40 pages into reading Little Children. So far the pace of the novel has pretty much been identical to its film adaptation. I’m impressed at how well the two pair together.
I first saw Little Children during the spring semester of my freshman year of college. This was in the middle of a marathon movie screening session after getting my wisdom teeth pulled. The movie is phenomenal, but stories of suburban angst, and the weight of that feeling, always strikes a cord with me. There was a degree of this sentiment in The Bell Jar, with Esther feeling inadequate to her peers but having greater ambitions than becoming a house wife. There are also many parallels between Little Children, and another Kate Winslet Movie, Revolutionary Road. Mostly, the feeling that you’re living a life based on society’s expectations and not your own.
This line from the novel pretty much sums it up: “After all, what was adult life but one moment of weakness piled on top of another? Most people just fell in line like obedient little children, doing exactly what society expected of them at any given moment, all the while pretending that they’d actually made some sort of choice.”
Perhaps I’m so fascinated with stories like this is because it could very easily become a real thing. After all, I’m from the suburbs. All the mail boxes in Stoney Glen (my old subdivision) were the exact same. And a fancy meal out meant going to Olive Garden. What the suburbs lack in character, it makes up for in comfort. Life felt very safe and structured growing up (and there isn’t anything wrong with this). It’s easy to keep saying yes to all of the comforts that a life like this has to offer, until it becomes too late.
I’m looking forward to finishing the novel … and feeling weird about life for a few weeks.