Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Perry by Dianne Willems

Dianne Willems’ Perry begins as a daydream that edges in and out of a nightmare reality, and ultimately ends with the ultimate sacrifice. It is a tragedy because life is determined to be a black comedy. Life is loaded with easily discouraged, jaded Superheroes, but very few Perrys. The piece ends the only way it could, yet you never see it coming.

Q: Do you believe that the well meaning You Are Special message, without explaining how everyone can be special, without negating the definition, drives young minds into hopelessness almost as effectively as a poor home life?

Q: I see something Christlike about the Parrot, how his martyrdom brought the flabby heroes back into shape. Do you agree?

Leila

Dianne’s responses

Q: Do you believe that the well meaning You Are Special message, without explaining how everyone can be special, without negating the definition, drives young minds into hopelessness almost as effectively as a poor home life?

Q1: I am less familiar with the ‘You Are Special’ message (I think it’s a cultural thing, here in the Netherlands there’s more of a calvinistic attitude), but I have some thoughts about the ambitious ‘aim for the stars’/’be the best’ message some people try to install in their children. However, regarding the Parrot, I think he is more about trying to gain some control over a chaotic life. And being a hero, because his family did the exact opposite of installing in him the ‘aim for the stars’ OR ‘you are special’ attitude. So he tried extra hard, regardless of cost, to be someone special. 

Q: I see something Christlike about the Parrot, how his martyrdom brought the flabby heroes back into shape. Do you agree?

Q2: Having grown up in an almost completely atheist environment I haven’t nearly enough knowledge about Jesus to have drawn this parallel. However, I think the question should be, did the Parrot bring the flabby heroes back into shape? Or was that one last desperate fantasy as he lay dying? 

3 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Perry by Dianne Willems”

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