Which kind of book best fits your introversion?
Ever showed up to a party, and after a while, find yourself having to leave because you feel uncomfortable? You think that maybe you don’t belong in this social gathering at all, and you'd rather spend the weekend drinking a cup of tea as you read one of the books from that growing pile in your room. Being an introvert can be hard sometimes. You might feel like you don't have anything in common with the rest of the world. You'd just rather spend time listening to music or reading a good book. Sounds appealing to you? Then you came to the right place. Here you’ll find literature that shows, in one way or another, what being an introvert is like through three basic stages.
You feel puzzled and unaware.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)
In this book series, we can see Katniss Everdeen as a clear example of an introvert who still doesn't know she is one. In the first book, Katniss constantly has internal conversations with herself about the outside world (her family, the Districts, Gale, and Peeta), as if she was detached from her reality. She doesn’t have a lot of friends, and spends most of her time in the wild, far away from everyone else (except Gale). Many people point her out as a weirdo and antisocial person, even though she is never aggressive or hateful toward them. She’s just unaware of her personality and lives with it, thinking that she may actually be a different person from the rest but for no apparent reason. Maybe that was the treat required to stand out in that dystopian story to become the symbolic Mockingjay of the revolution.
The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson (1890)
In this poetry compilation, Emily Dickinson explores introversion in a personal and vulnerable way that shows the daily struggles of confronting the outside world. She spent a significant amount of her life in her house, and despite having friends, most of these relationships were kept through letters. Though it seems she acknowledged her introversion, through her own words, we can appreciate how she wasn’t fully aware of this being a personality trait. In other words, she managed this side of her as an intellectual analysis of the world. Many of her poems display both rational and emotional insights on people and human relationships as a third party outsider.
You’re too self conscious, and try being an extrovert.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
Jay Gatsby in Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece is a clear example of an introvert in “denial.” Since accepting this can be overwhelming at the beginning, some people choose to give a try to extroversion as an “easy” alternative. Nevertheless, deep down, their real self still waits to be recognized, and over time, they end up feeling frustrated and, all in all, very lonely. In this story, Gatsby appears as an alluring party animal with a very luxurious lifestyle, but the moment we get to see more about his personal life, we understand that, deep down, he feels lonely and severely misunderstood.
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)
Yes, the most popular detective in the world is also a character who hasn’t quite embraced his introversion. He can manage to be an extrovert for the sake of his line of work, because most of the time he has to talk with strangers, but at the end of the day, he’s not so comfortable with the outside world. That’s why, after solving cases and saving the day, he spends days (or weeks) in complete solitude, playing violin, or just having that me-time an introvert needs to recharge after spending time with people. When the need of companionship arrives, there’s always Watson to calm his loneliness. In many ways, us introverts have been in his place, wanting to stay on the couch for days, doing nothing, and just enjoying the slow passing of hours in silence.
You stop caring about others’ opinions.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Yes, there are fascinating introverts in one of Austen’s biggest masterpieces, like the handsome Mr. Darcy. Throughout the story, he is described as a educated yet arrogant fine man. He appears to be perceived as a judgmental and negative person. Little did we know, he is just living his introversion freely. He’s not scared to be how he is. He owns his personal traits as they come (and if you ask me, that makes him even more attractive!). All in all, Darcy is a noble character, but his ways are not always very well received, and this happens A LOT to introverts. Because we often express our ideas and feelings in a different way, people tend to feel offended because we don’t communicate with them as they want us to.
The Martian by Andy Weir (2011)
This is a particular case of introversion. In this story, Mark Wattney doesn’t get to choose the isolated life, he mostly has to embrace it… in another planet. But the way he learns to make the most of this lifestyle can give introvert readers a very interesting insight on how people see isolation when it’s not their first choice. Complete detachment can be paradise to many readers, and even the realization of the self in this situation. When you know you only have yourself, you have to learn to love who you are and be comfortable with this because you don’t have other choice. This is both a confrontational and attractive choice to read, right?
These books show very different sides of being an introvert, and I think that’s the best part of this. Through these stories, people can get to know the real side of having these personality traits, and leave judgment behind. All in all, these books show the most important part of acknowledging yourself as an introvert is being who you really are.
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