Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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     The book Delirium, the first out of the Delirium trilogy, was, overall, a very deep and incredibly gripping book. I always enjoy books that take a certain human characteristic, and eliminate or manipulate it. In this case, they called “love” a disease, known in the book as 'amor deliria nervosa'. They actually had symptoms listed and ‘professionals’ writing articles about it, advising against even the temptation to feel love. It really made me think about how important love is to all of us; it maintains confidence and balance in modern societies. Many of us have a  form of attachment, whether it be friendship, parents, or just acquaintances: the positive experiences are both benefical to human health and essential to existence in a community. Experiencing pain or failure is just the same way. If you don’t or can’t experience it, then you will never learn what it feels like to be persistence, or to feel a true victory.You’ll never know what redemption feels like. By having a cure of some sort in this book, they completely expunge the concept of emotional connections between best friends, parents, and everyone else. This creates an almost terrifying and unbearably phlegmatic disconnection and misunderstandings between certain characters, especially Magdalena and her older, cured sister, Rachel.
     To me, it was really depressing and absolutely horrifying to see how out of tune and different they were from each other. I grieved for Rachel upon gaining the knowledge that she had once loved someone, and that four officials had to pin her down and drag her to her operation.  The operation took away what was really important to her: love and true happiness. Yet, somehow, Rachel didn’t think of it that way. She somehow forgave them for taking away who she loved...for removing her ability to love. If I were her, I probably would have attempted escape before that. I would have run away, because I, and the majority of modernized people, know the truth about love. WE understand that it’s not a disease, but a very important emotion that may, on occassion, cause great pain...but that doesn’t mean we should eliminate it entirely. Some of us can choose to not love anyone or anything, but wiping out love entirely is like cutting out the rest of the emotions, including fear. In the book, they say the cure is the key to happiness, and no pain. Well, life is not all sunshine and rainbows and no pain. Life is about grit, being self-sufficient, and believing that no situation is insurmountable. Life is about perseverance, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and reliable people, having support...just loving. Without love, what society would we have? A cruel, non-sympathetic place where even the tiniest step out of line raises suspicion. A paranoid prison.
     One last thing that I loved about the book was the repeated quote, first and last said by Magdalena’s mother:
     “I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”






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