Sunday, 22 September 2019

John Wyndham: The Day Of The Triffids

I am currently re-reading the books that i read as a teenager and one book that i was made to read at school for English Literature was Day of the Triffids.
As it was the early 80's i don't remember if i was too busy listening to WHAM or peeling the stickers off my Rubik's Cube but i don't remember much about it apart from it was about everyone going blind and walking plants taking over the Earth.
Reading it now, 35 years later and without the George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley obsession, it is indeed about everyone going blind and walking plants taking over the Earth but not as much as i thought.
It is a post-apocalyptic tale but after the initial meteor storm and Triffid takeover, the walking plants with the poison stingers take a back-seat and it becomes almost a story of humans battling adversity to survive, someone deeper than me could explain the authors vision of the break down of society and man's inhumane treatment of each other when it is a battle of survival.
The Triffids are there of course, a constant throughout but to me, John Wyndham used them as a way to get to the true nature of the story which of course completely wasted on the 14 year old me who was basically more interested in the monsters and reading enough to complete a book report on a side of A4 paper.
That is the problem with making schoolkids read books, as it is something they are made to do so it becomes a chore like learning the times table or how to use supposition in a sentence instead of reading the book for the pleasure of it.
I am glad i revisited this one, it is a very good story with killer vegetation thrown in and a stark reminder that i was always barking up the wrong tree with George Michael.

2 comments:

Q said...

Human nature. written history tells us that human nature has not changed. behavior changes, but not human nature
- why we act remains the same over time - there are just a few motivations (human nature)
- what we do when we act has not changed - there are just a few plots (human nature)
- how we do things changes a lot over time - infinite actions (human behavior)

Other public school reading gets to the same thing:
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies
Black Like Me
Watership Down


Falling on a bruise said...

I remember being told in English Lit that all books are only themes on seven different types of stories, would need to google them to remember what they were though.