Literature = writings in prose or verse; especially: writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest, considered to have value as art and not just entertainment.
Talking of literature with students often means bringing along complaints, grumbles, moaning, yawns... discontent, in other words. But why?
In fact, rules are statements that explain what someone can or cannot do in a particular system and, even though most rules are written in order to be followed (and it must be so to live in a safe society) sometimes it is necessary to "bend the rules". People must just be careful and distinguish these two cases.
What rules are made to be broken?
- The ones that limit your rights
Such as the Jim Crow Laws, have you thought about what the world would be like if the Americans hadn't stood up and spoken out against the racial segregation? REBEL!
- The ones that limit your freedom of choice unjustly
For instance, the ones that forbid the burkini or the ones that, at the opposite, compel women not to show a single inch of their body even at the seaside. Why can't they be free to choose their apparel themselves? Can it turn somehow into a life-or-death matter? REBEL!
- The nonsensical ones
For example, the ones some parents impose to their children: does deciding how many hours a day your daughter must study or choosing the secondary school of your son have any sense? REBEL!
And this is what is meant by saying REBEL: waking up and realizing that ultimately everything we do is by choice and it is up to us whether we want these decisions to be ours or we are happy with resigning ourselves to what our family, society or social standards want us to become. And at this crossroads we all know we should take a stand against what other people choose for us: we ought to behave like Robinson Crusoe, following our dreams, hoping for the best, because if we just surrender and stick to unfair rules and ready-made decisions, we will never be truly free. And this modern kind of "self-slavery" is one of the worst ever because having a heavy heart, full of regrets and of "what ifs", is a prison no one can escape. We are not meant to live the life someone else wants us to live, so go after YOUR dreams and start creating the life YOU want to live... NOW!
a matter of discomfort
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Discomfort = a feeling of being embarrassed.
This is basically the word I would use to summarize Gulliver's Travels, if I was asked to simplify to the very core the extremely complex and rich-in-satire plot that hides behind its surface of novel for children. Why?
Because whatever land he finds himself in after several hijinks is a place where he feels uncomfortable in his own skin, both on a physical and on a psychological level, so much that at the end of the book he will not be able to stand humans and their smell any longer.
Among tiny or giant creatures, absent-minded or wise beings, Gulliver is always the "different" one, unsuitable to cope with the inhabitants of these imaginary lands.