When I first started reading Lynda Barry’s “What It Is”, I was confused. It was so different to the other books we have read in class and it felt like a scrapbook with no solid point. After reading through it, one theme stuck out to me. Throughout the novel, Lynda Barry asks questions that focus on perspective and images. We don’t tend to ask such questions as what an image is or what a secret is because we think of them as common knowledge. We don’t believe we need to look further. In this novel, there are new things to be learned about ourselves by asking these questions again. By asking what an image is and what a memory is, Lynda Barry is able to change how we view these things. She discusses her own personal experience, how she would read a book and remember the story as something she experienced on a personal level. We think of memory as recollection of the past but don’t think of how these memories can be altered by our own minds and the minds of others. We tend to think of things as simply but in fact things can be very complicated. We can even have collective memories of things we have never experienced but appear from the discourses of others around us. But, we still think that these memories are our own. Lynda Barry asks questions and provides her personal narrative to make the readers think and learn about themselves. She provides lessons to inspire creativity in her readers.
Overall, I enjoyed the book because first it was different than any we have read so far and second because it reminded me of discussions we have in my Anthropology classes. We often discuss how the things we think are real or true can be imaged by others or society. We ask questions that appear to be simple but in the end have a very complex answer. I enjoy learning new things and learning new ways to view old things and I think that this book provided that.