Tenth Of December By George Saunders: Summary

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People generally overlook the suffering and mentality of the fast-paced world around them. More often than not, we simply ignore the lives and history of those around us, choosing the selfish path that allows us to focus on our own growth and survival. We regularly experience “sonder”, a term coined The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, to explain “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”, but we expect the world to revolve around our minds. Tenth of December, written by George Saunders, is a collection of short stories that allows us to ponder the experiences of human and “sonder” with the use of realistic characters that suffer in dimension and live with the same humilities and flaws that regular…show more content…
Eva, the father’s youngest daughter, however, is different from the society, her parents, and her sister (who originally wanted the Semplica Girls). She realizes the fault of the usage, but it is not explained if she feels “sonder” or if she’s just a very selfless child. Saunders makes it clear that both flaws of these characters are mostly shaped as outcomes from their past and the society around them: Al had a smothering mother who never let him grow up and an undetermined struggle between his homosexuality, while the father narrator only had a father figure who worked tirelessly for him after an abrupt divorce and the envy of people in the affluent society around him with better standards of living. In the stories, both of the characters contain a mentality that disallows them from percepting the opposing view. Al Roosten is constantly teetering on either endlessly criticizing Donfrey or worshipping his very existence. He lives on a low rank, but mentally places himself on a pedestal higher than Donfrey (like his mother often would in his childhood). On the other hand, the father narrator, like the rest of society, is unable to perceive the issue and inhumanity of Semplica Girls, unlike his daughter Eva and his father-in-law. A string of…show more content…
However, they never do anything about that realization and carry on with their own self-assertion. With this fact, Saunder’s short stories bring up interesting questions in relation of the human experience and the moments we get during “sonder”. While “sonder” is a phenomenon often felt, it’s a question of why we never act upon it. Why are humans inherently self centered? Are we raised and taught to be so, or is it an instinct developed from the mechanism of natural selection? But if the latter is the case, then why are there also people who are selfless in their acts and do not feel envy from materialism like little Eva? The stories also bring up an interesting point when it comes to our own stances in the vast universe. Shown by Al, why do we often believe we are better than we truly are? But when it’s proven that we’re not, why do we feel the need to be offended? Without consideration of others, why do we consider ourselves the main role of the story, rather than the bystanding extras? The father narrator and Al both only show us one side of the story and their actions are not exactly the highest of all calibers, but we don’t feel a sense of hatred for them and their actions. The feeling of “sonder” reminds us that we are all human in

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