I must admit I am so overwhelmed by this book in regards to my question, so I will probably come back and edit this post at some point.
Sethe defines herself by her past and the people around her. I think most people do that to some extent, but I really loved the quote when Paul D told Sethe "you your best thing, Sethe. You are." We are all our own best things; after all, at the end of everything the person who is going to be there the most is you. It's a quest for all of mankind to not only define one's self, but also to love it. We all have our moments when we wish we were smarter or prettier or stronger, but it's a vital ingredient in self definition to work through the storm of self doubt to the other side.
Well, a book about a man who turns into a giant bug! How do you define yourself when you are in that predicament? Is he a bug? Is he still a person? In his mind, he is still a person although his humanity is slowly slipping through his fingers. However, to his family he is a monster. They no longer see their son or their brother; he is a monstrosity that does nothing but add stress to the household. In my opinion, the most defining moment for Gregor was when he decided to sacrifice his own limited life for the well being of his family. Grete, his sister, repeatedly stated that it would be better for all of them if he would just die so they could get on with their lives. And so he did. Whether or not that makes him a hero, sacrificial lamb, or just a burden being lifted one thing remains; Gregor is selfless. It takes a pretty strong person to fight for the last shreds of their humanity and identity, but it takes a whole lot more to let it go in order to better someone else's life.
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 12:57 PM
Rivers and Tides
I really liked this film, although at times I was a little bit confused about Andy Goldsworthy's motives. He defines himself through art, although he does not define the art itself. As he said in the film, "I need the land, but the land doesn't need me". The only time where he can be at peace with himself is during his artistic journey in which he explores his creative outlet. His art is all natural, which could speak to his character because when he is in his element he feels natural, as if he is in the right place. I really admire how his art is not intended for audiences, although it seemed to me that he welcomed spectators, but more for himeself. It is ok that I don't understand everything he does because it is not for me to understand, it is for him to understand and me to appreciate. I wonder how he got started doing this? How does he earn a living? I'm sure he worked a typical job at some point, but he never commited the crime that most of socitey does today: defining ourselves through our employment. It is so refreshing to see him creating art out of natural elements, sparking intellect and wonder.
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 8:53 AM
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 8:52 AM
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 8:50 AM
In Plainsong, each generation has to deal with soul searching and defining themselves. For some such as Victoria, definitions produce strength in the hardest of times. Her pregnancy leaves her underprivileged and overwhelmed, but her intelligence guides her to safety. She learns more about herself through the eyes of her caretakers. Each person is like a diamond with different facets, and different sides to their personalities. Ike and Bobby are left emotionally abandoned by their mother and through that tragedy they learn how to take care of themselves. Even the older characters the McPheron brothers are still learning lessons about their idenitites. Victoria ressurects their tenderness and allows their compassion to blossom, reassigning their stereotypical roles of "rough and tough farm hands". Perhaps identity is never fully defined, but rather shifted and molded, getting better and more concrete with age...
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 8:49 AM
If any two people have something in common it is the quest for identity. Everyone comes into this world not knowing who they are or who they will become and it is the ultimate goal of life to solve the puzzle of our true character. So how do we really know? How do we know when we are right? Do we have any control over the outcome? It is a daunting question, but I feel it is important to be able to have a solid confidence and faith in one's self in order to contribute to the world.
I have personally battled through many wars waged against this very topic. It is an odd time in our lives where independence scratches the surface for the first time without the fall back of having our parents save the day. As an adolescent, it does not seem strange that I have often felt lost, confused, a lonely wanderer. Dealing with various health problems and the bumps in life has often left me feeling weak when I should feel strong, alone when I am surrounded, and sad when I am blessed. Searching for myself is an ongoing process that continues to baffle me.
Posted by CollegeGirl91 at 7:41 PM