Sabtu, 08 September 2012

The Velveteen Rabbit: A Book Review

Classic books stay on shelves for a very long time and possibly forever. This is so because the lessons they teach us are too great to be kept hidden. Their philosophical themes have enriched every generation with the depth of wisdom only philosophy can fathom.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco is one of these classical masterpieces. Published many times since 1922, the story of the Velveteen Rabbit has pinched many hearts of different ages as it unfolds the desire of every toy to become real and the transforming power of love.

The story begins on Christmas morning when the boy received a stuffed toy rabbit as a gift. The Boy seemed to like the toy for "two hours". However, when he saw the other toys made of more "modern" materials, he totally forgot about the Rabbit. The Rabbit was kept in the toy cupboard or found lying on the nursery floor as he waited for the boy to play with him. For the meantime, he befriended the Skin Horse who was the wisest toy because he had lived longer in the nursery than any other toys. The Rabbit learned from the Skin Horse how to become Real. The Horse was Real great many years ago because the boy's uncle had loved him unlike any other toys. Eventually, the boy came to play with the Rabbit. For a long time, he held the Rabbit so dearly that he learned to love him. The Rabbit was real to the boy.

To be Real is to be Significant. We become significant when we are loved. And we are loved when we are willing enough to submit ourselves to the subject of our own love. This is the central theme of the book. It is a reflection of what we are as human and as one with all creatures. It is this oneness that makes us real. We strive to belong and be loved that we turn ourselves to others until we do not completely own ourselves anymore. When the Skin Horse said, "You become," it is the process that we go through to cast away our belief that we can leave alone, because we simply cannot.

Margery Williams' great hand on weaving a true children story did not only gain children audiences, but it has also appealed to the young and the adults. To adults, this story is a reminder of the simplicity of their own childhoods, how easy it is to manifest love through giving life to otherwise inanimate objects such as toys. It is a billboard of innocent memories.

The Velveteen Rabbit was brilliantly crafted that every parent would love to read it to their children every night before they go to sleep.

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