Thursday, September 24, 2009

How does experience change perspective?

Because of my travels and work with Miracles on Ice this past summer, gaining the experience with working with young children from rough backgrounds forced me to realize how truly lucky I am, and that what may seem awful to me, is nothing compared to what these kids faced, and for that, they are true heroes who have completely changed my perspective on life.

In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is shunning experience by trying to escape fate, which really has an iron grasp on him the entire time. Had he taken the time to think that killing the man in the road could potentially be his father based on his oracle, he would have gained the experience of learning to see what is right in front of him,and therefore understand that he was on a downward spiral. His perspective would have changed, and with clear sight and mind, he potentially could have controlled his own fate.

Atonement, by Ian McEwan clearly shows the trials and tribulations of Briony, and how her initial lack of perspective leads her to gain more and more experience about how she learns to not fabricate lies, leading to her eventual quest for atonement.

In the trivial playwright by Shakespeare, King Lear, King Lear battles with his tragic flaw. He is unable to see what is right infront of him, and has a bad habit of taking everything much to literal. For instance, in the beginning of the play, King Lear asks his three daughters to express their love for him in words so he can decide who to deal out his land to. The two evil daughters sugar-coat their words, while his third daughter, the one who truly loves him, replies that she should not need to express her love in words, because her actions speak louder. King Lear, being old and "wise" should have realized this but instead, decides to think too literally and decides that his third daughter does not love him, and should be bannished instead of rewarded. King Lear's mistakes carry on throughout the play, eventually leading to hysteric and outrageous mental break down amidst a raging storm. In the end, his third daughter, Cordelia, dies. King Lear finally realizes his destructive mistake in bannishing her, and all of his rash decisions come back to haunt him. His kingdom is ruined, and his only daughter that truly cared for him is dead. His perspective is drastically changed into what it should be, but it is too late. His newfound perpective helped him realize what was infront of him, the answer to what he failed to see, but unfortunately, it was far too late. Perspective is what shapes us, and what helps us realize the most simple answer, no matter how close it may be, but sadly for King Lear, he was too late.

Playboy of the Western World shows the trials and tribulations of how much of a tangly mess lies can become when you are trying so desperately to be something you just are not. Christy is trying to convince his town that he is a hero in order to seek attention from a girl. He lies and plays up the fact that he "kills" his father, when in reality, he did not. Christy's tangle of lies is everntually brough out into the light and everyone sees him for who he is.

While reading the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the novel itself is quite confusing because of Joyce's unique "stream of consciousness" writing style. in order to bring new found perspective to the overall theme and message of the novel, we were asked to write down phrases in which a certain word recurred throughout one of the chapters. In chapter 3, the word "soul" is prominent , and after taking ten different phrases and sentences, I collaborated them into a poem.

sin loving soul

like a beast in its lair

his soul had lain down

lucid indifference

reigned in

clear and silent

as the

ache of his soul

was alone with his soul.

Once my phrases were collaborated into this poem, I was able to understand the frustrated tone of this chapter and novel. Stephen is struggling to define himself and who he is, and the "ache of the soul" part of the poem expresses that. I found it much easier to understand this chapter and novel as a whole through a different perspective of this found poem. In a word, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is about trying to define yourself by the beautifully divine chaos of the mind.