I'm halfway through, but thoughts part one was nothing short of brilliant. The inconsistent narrator is thrilling. The lines of reality are blurred being seen through the eyes of someone labeled insane. This also lends well to wonderful nougats of magic realism are scattered throughout the book.
There are some very interesting explorations of human dignity, social expectations, laughter, hope, self identity, freedom, and liberation. The ward being completely devoid of laughter and how this correlates to the lack of authentic human life and a lack of hope. Psychological mind games drip from every scene.
One of my favorite quotes is the narrators observation of the protagonist who is able to resist fitting the mold that society tries to force him in.
"I'd think, maybe he truly is something extraordinary. He's what he is, that's it"And further, in a following paragraph:
"He hadn't let what he looked like run his life one way or the other, any more then he'd let the Combine (read authorities) mill him into fitting where they wanted him to fit"Why does such an authentic sense of human identity speak so powerfully? And why is an authentic human a source of such hope?
This cause me to to ponder the significance of our selfish bent. What is it that causes us to live a life of masks molded by pride and by self-conscious fears which only leads to destructive caricatures of human beings.
I believe we were creatures made for the worship of One, the One who created humanity in his image. When our worship is centered on God our true identity is released. Are you self-conscious or are you God-conscious?