March

— Alex Phuong

Why do people write? What is the point of worrying about events, places, and characters created through the human imagination? They are not even real! Some people major in English while in college because they are bookworms. Sometimes they could be very similar to Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and enjoy wonderful stories while discovering princes during the third chapters of their favorite fairy tale books. I can honestly say that the reason why I write is because of influences I have had during my nearly twenty-six years of being alive on my only home called the Earth.

I have had a very interesting childhood. I was born the same year that Disney released the original animated version of Beauty and the Beast, and I was merely four months old when it began playing in multiplexes. There is a very slight chance that Beauty and the Beast might have been the first movie I have ever seen in my entire life. (I still somewhat remember watching Pocahontas in a theater when I was four years old.) I immediately fell in love with Belle and her signature outfits when I was young. Her independence also inspired Emma Watson to re-create this iconic character in Bill Condon’s live-action remake of a tale as old as time. I guess part of the reason why I like writing is because I have had a fascination with magic spells, fairy tales, and Disney magic.

Ironically, even though I like writing, I honestly did not read that much when I was a kid. I had no interest in children’s literature, such as The Chronicles of Narnia. It was not until I listened to my middle school English teacher reading aloud Anne Frank’s diary that I began to have a love affair with English as an academic subject. Anne Frank wanted to be remembered for being an innocent person trapped under dire circumstances, and that is part of the timelessness of her diary. A notion that stuck with me from the diary was the idea of living on after death. I wanted to know more about fundamental themes within the human experience.

I then went on to read voraciously in high school, and read great classics like Sense and Sensibility. Marianne Dashwood loved imagining Guinevere and Lancelot while employing her overly romantic sensibilities. I can also say that I am hopelessly romantic, and that I used to write love poems all of the time even though many consider such writing as trite. The reason why I immersed myself in the world of writing, publication, and literature was simply because of circumstances within my personal life.

In spite of my initial distaste in reading, I write today in order to honor the great women I encountered in my life. Belle, Anne Frank, and my female English teachers have inspired me to advocate feminism. I am not ashamed of majoring in English, and writing regularly. Ironically, my own mother does not read, yet her son has been published.

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