So, after a long hiatus, I'm back! I was at the library last week and saw "So Big" as I was walking down the aisle and decided I'd saddle back up with this project.
Once again, I'll avoid a synopsis of the book as those are all over the Intrawebs. I'll just touch on my thoughts.
To me, the overriding theme of the book is a little deeper than "search of beauty". The theme is answering the question: "How do we spend the currency of our lives". To Selena, she believed we should create - to grow, to build, to struggle, to love. To her, that was to live.
We saw how, over the course of the book, Dirk gravitated towards what most of us gravitate towards - to be comfortable. He was not bad, or evil, or money grubbing. He just wanted to be comfortable.
The figure of Roelf juxtaposed nicely with Dirk - he who had nothing - he who had a father who thought he was useless - he who arrived in Paris with 5 francs in his pocket - he was the one who pursued creating with a passion. But even then, Selina loved her son just as much and just as deeply, even though he had chosen a different route.
This book illustates how status in life is not so important in the greater scope of things. We all will die and return to dust. What matters is what we build, what we create, and whether we left the world better than it was when we came into it.