Sir, – I wholly agree with Diarmaid Ferriter's article in which he argues that Normal People sets the sexual bar too high (Opinion & Analysis, May 22nd). However, this is not the only topic which sets the bar too high.
The book creates an unrealistic image of academic success, with the main characters getting top results in school and university. This image of academic excellence and success increases pressure on young people to meet these standards and also feelings of inadequacy in older people who did not. The result is many believe they are failures unless they meet exceptionally high standards. I hope that future writers will challenge this belief and not add to it. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Whatever about the height Normal People sets the bar at in sexual matters, it certainly sets it abnormally high for student participation in tutorials, unless Trinity tutorials are some sort of exception. The general complaint from academics about students’ sullen silence in tutorials is, “I can’t get them to talk”, never mind engage in the erudite and insightful debates depicted in the series.
It also sets the bar exceedingly low for the best English student on campus, a scholarship winner and a putative writer, as he appears to be unable to string a coherent sentence about his feelings together when in the presence of the object of those feelings. I hope Marianne will ditch him and find someone who can speak! – Yours, etc,
Toome, Co Antrim.