Fri, 18 November 2016
When Henry Wallace Mills realizes that his inability to dance may cause his wife feelings of cloudy despondency, he decides to take the matter in hand. Or should we say, feet. P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.
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Now, I know that the definition of autism has been evolving since 1908 until what it is today, but I think that the hero of today’s story is on what is now considered the autism spectrum. My reasons for saying this? 1) His method of study is unorthodox, and requires an incredible amount of tenacity, even fixation. Most people couldn’t do this. This is what I term the autism super power. 2) His unwillingness to vary his study schedule of the Encyclopedia (He won’t skip a volume). 3) He imagines a fantasy scheme where his problems are all solved, and works diligently to accomplish this impossible task. 4) He is rather socially awkward, bless him.
This is no way official, and I can’t back it up with anything other than my own observations, but when I read this story, it struck me how my autistic son has many of these same character traits. He also demonstrates the autism super power, and is a truly amazing boy. I find it encouraging that P.G. Wodehouse saw how characters of this temperament could find happiness and love in a world that largely misunderstands them.
And now, The Man With Two Left Feet, by P.G. Wodehouse.