I just started reading through Aldous Huxley’s ‘Island’, and I was immediately hooked after only a few pages. The story starts with the protagonist crashing on an island, attempting to scale a rock wall to find safety, seeing a snake coiled in the next handhold, ready to strike, and falling—only to be found and nursed back to health by a small native child.
This dialogue ensues after she tried to get him over his terrible last memory:
“You can’t be here and now,” she went on, “until you’ve got rid of those snakes. Tell me.”
“I don’t want to, I don’t want to.” He was almost in tears.
“Then you’ll never get rid of them. They’ll be crawling about inside your head forever. And serve you right,” Mary Sarojini added severely.
He tried to control the trembling; but his body had ceased to belong to him. Someone else was in charge, someone malevolently determined to humiliate him, to make him suffer.
“Remember what happened when you were a little boy,” Mary Sarojini was saying. “What did your mother do when you hurt yourself?”
She had taken him in her arms, had said, “My poor baby, my poor little baby.”
“She did that?” The child spoke in a tone of shocked amazement. “But that’s awful! That’s the way to rub it in. ‘My poor baby,’” she repeated derisively, “it must have gone on hurting for hours. And you’d never forget it.”
A reminder to be ‘here and now’, in a world full of hard to forget memories.
Published by: drewcoffman in What to Read