It came to my attention this week that the required reading for incoming freshman at Penn State this year is a book called “The Circle” by Dave Eggers.
I read it last year because I love to read and it was on all the current “must-read” lists. Also, I found the premise — that a Google-like company (The Circle) was infiltrating and taking over America through social media — compelling and very relevant to our times.
Reading it, though, embarrassed me greatly because I found some parts of the book to be pornographic in nature. I don’t use that word lightly and I imagine that the author would hotly deny it, saying that it was necessary to the story. However, if the movie that is coming out soon would have been filmed as the book is written, it would necessarily have been relegated to the adult bookstores of the world rather than any major movie theaters.
I am utterly shocked that this book is required reading for the more than 10,000 incoming Penn State 18-year-olds who were in high school only a few weeks ago. It is base, immoral and corrupt.
As a community, we should be introducing our students to literature that teaches, edifies and enlightens, not literature that confirms the cynical belief that the world of adults is exploitative, loveless and exists only for the glorification of self.
Amy Rothrock, State College