The UOS Times
After Reading the Marcelin Caillou
Jo Geon-ho  |
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[145호] 승인 2017.12.04  
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Many adults who live busy daily lives get further away from their childhoods when they treated other with pure emotions and made a relationship which purposed on itself, not the special profits along with it. Losing so many perks of our past when they grew up, many adults find themselves getting accustomed to social biases or stereotypes and have few pure relationships.
In order to fulfill the need for some semblance of childhood innocence, there are many books under the name of a new trending genre: “fairy tales for adults”. So, in this issue’s Review kicker, The UOS Times reviews one of these stories for adults that can indulge their needs for pure memories from their childhood. First, let us appreciate a brief synopsis of the book, Marcelin Caillou.

Marcellin Caillou, the title character of this book, was born with a rare disease. He gets suddenly blush in and out of season, sometimes even while speaking. Because of this different appearance, he lived a complicated childhood because others always questioned him regarding his blushing. He got tired of his friends talking about his blushing face, and he finally became a loner. Then one day, when he was on his way home, Marcelin heard a sneeze in his apartment aisle. There, he had a fateful encounter with a child named “René Rateau”. René was a very attractive child, but he had a rare symptom like Marcelin. René suffered from a condition that caused him to sneeze all the time, even if he didn’t have a cold. When Marcelin and René talked, they instantly sympathized with each other. They talked for a long time and quickly became best friends. However, when René moved away, the two were soon separated. After a little while and a few situations, the two friends could not keep in touch, but they always missed each other.
Later, after Marcelin had grown up, he lived a busy life in a big city. One day, he was taking a bus to meet one of his clients, but he heard a noise at the back of the bus: a familiar sneeze. At that moment, Marcelin and René were reunited. The two quickly went back to their old friendship and spent time together, even though many years had passed. There was no change between them, except they had grown up to be men.

Marcellin Caillou provides us an opportunity to think about two important values: one is accepting other people’s differences and the other is regarding the meeting itself as an important matter, through Marcellin and René’s strong relationship. The readers are able to notice the first value from the different attitudes regarding Marcellin’s blushing face.

Many people put up barriers that could divide them from people who are different from themselves, instead of opening up to others. In this book, also, Marcellin’s face was judged to be “wrong” by his friends, just because the sudden change in color of his face was not ordinary. This made Marcellin lonely, and he went through a tough time. Sadly, this situation, caused by prejudice, is rather common in the real world, only with more various criteria. Sometimes, people mistrust others because of numerous differences, such as race, religion, or gender. But René in this book showed us a better attitude concerning these situations. He was different than the others Marcellin met. When He encountered Marcellin’s red face, he accepted this peculiar characteristic. In return, René was able to learn more about Marcellin and met a best friend for life.

Through the pure relationship between Marcellin and René, there is another value that the readers can learn. In the real world, the purpose of a meeting is usually only to seek profit or fulfill a shared desire. Some people forget that they can be with their friends without any specific purposes or plans. But the two friends in the book did not expect any return from their friendship. They were happy just being there for each other, even if they did not say anything special at all. This may be what is needed most by people who are tired of relationships that are only based on profit or specified gains.

Readers who want to experience an innocent book should try Marcellin Caillou. It consists of childlike illustrations and simple sentences that are scarcely inside the usual heavy textbooks that students carry around campus all the time. However, what it gave us is not as light as its weight. Each sentence and drawing will give readers a chance to remember their childhood memories.

Jo Geon-ho

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