An American Allegory Revealed through Stargirl

In the Bible, Luke 6:31 says, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” In addition, Matthew 7:12 says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Susan Caraway, aka Stargirl, literally lives by those two passages from the Bible, but the Bible is never mentioned in the book.

I finished reading “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli late at night on 8-10-18. A New York Times Bestseller, “Stargirl” was published by Random House Children’s Books. Since I’m fast approaching 73, why was I reading a teen novel?

The reason I read “Stargirl” is because I’m a super fan of singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal who landed the lead role in the future Disney film for “Stargirl”.  If you don’t know who Grace is, go to YouTube and put her name into a YouTube search. I suggest focusing on her iHeartRadio and MTV performances.

After reading the book, I think Grace is the perfect choice to play this role. The setting in Arizona is also the perfect location for this story.  Stargirl’s boyfriend Leo Borlock plays an important part in developing the painful allegory that reveals a tragic truth about what’s happening in the United States today.

Back to why I think this book and the character Susan Caraway is an allegory.  Simply put, Stargirl lives her life, even if she doesn’t know it, by the two Bible verses above, and she ends up being shunned by almost every student in the high school she is attending because of it. The majority of students shunning Stargirl are led by a hateful bully and troll called Hillari Kimble, and how they treat her reveals why and how the United States is being divided by hate.

The definition of allegory means “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.”

To understand what I mean, you will have to read the book. There is also a sequel, “Love, Stargirl”, and I’m going to buy a copy and read that one too.

After reading this short novel, you might think that anyone calling themselves a Christian that does not live by the Luke and Mathew versus that started this post are fake Christians, and that is exactly what I think.

We need many more Stargirls in this country and the world to make it a better, safer place to live.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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