Saturday, September 10, 2011

"The Other Side of the Hedge" by E.M. Forster: A Short Story Saturday Post

It's time for Short Story Saturday! Today's story, "The Other Side of the Hedge" by E.M. Forster, can be read for free here in about 10 minutes or less. I hope you'll read it and share your thoughts with me!

Forster's short story is striking commentary on the drive towards a preconceived notion of success. It also makes me think of times in life when things were in limbo like after highschool when I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. The protagonist is shocked when the the other side of the hedge leads nowhere: "But it must lead somewhere!" Sometimes there is such pressure (as often self-imposed as not) to proove we are progressing on a prescribed track that it leaves little room for exploration. The man is so consumed with making progress, so focussed on tracking his steps, that he can't see he's been going around in circles and not truly advancing. He's also abandoned relationships with those he viewed as competition.

Though not my favorite short story nor favorite Forster text, "The Other Side of the Hedge" can get you thinking critically about what you're doing and why you're doing it. And if a text as short as this can accomplish that then it gets a thumbs up from me.

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