Friday, December 14, 2012

Invisible Man Big Question:

The phrase from Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man, "Live your life like your head is in the lion's mouth" serves as an absolute statement that is open to interpretation. It could be seen as living a careful life, only doing what you should do and staying in the safe boundaries society sets for you. Or it could be seen as advice to live a life in anticipation, not knowing what is to come but willing to take the adventure to get there. When growing up, adolescents are faced with this daunting crossroad of how they want to live out their life and how they set out to do it much like the protagonist in Invisible Man. However, setting out to accomplish what you want in life does not mean that there will not be obstacles along the way. Some face the problem, like the narrator in Invisible Man, of trying to please others in order to bring individual contentment but fall short of societal expectations and wonder, "What did I do? I always tried to do the right thing..." (191). This is not the road to take when making the transition from child into adulthood. Instead, one must take the road that can be viewed to have selfish intent, but yields a greater outcome in the course of life. This is the road of self contentment. It should not serve as a main focus but more as cornerstone in one's life. By focusing on the quality one could bring to his own life and others instead of the quantity, maturation reaches its full course due to the incorporation of ideas taught to us when we are young taking action later on in the lives we live.
Does the protagonist in Invisible Man reach full maturation in the book? And do we all as a society reach this idea of full maturation and the happiness that accompanies it?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oedipus Big Question:

The play Oedipus Rex provides a platform where one can base their quality as a leader. Oedipus sees himself more as a leader than a king which is both admirable and desirable in regards to men with power. How does he possess this quality though? Is it born or acquired over time? It is evident that in history there are two kinds of leaders we come across. The ones who take their peoples needs into first account and the ones whose own needs are their only focus. Humans are inherently selfish but do not always choose to act upon it. Oedipus is one of those people. He cares more for the well being and responsibility for his people than his own. Does this quality show up in those who have gone through the process of "growing up"? Is growing up based on the idea of compromise and selflessness? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Henry IV Part I Big Question:

In life, the concept of growing up is daunting and intimidating. The thought that we will change and transform into people who make decisions for our own, and other's, well being seems fleeting and unfathomable. Yet there comes a time where we stumble onto the road of maturation and are forced to make the choice to continue down it or stay in place and forever be stuck in a state of selfishness and immaturity. In Henry IV Part I Hal faces his own road when it is evident that he will become king one day and that his childish lifestyle of thievery and pub crawling must not be a part of his life as king. Does Hal take this road to better himself? And if he does, is he, in his own way, growing up?

Monday, September 3, 2012

What is the Big Question?

It was a Thursday afternoon in fourth grade. I had been going to St. John's Lutheran School for about six years and was pretty confident that I had school, and all its obstacles, under control. Little did I know that I would later have the worst but also life-changing day of my life. The teacher passed back our memory test back, back then it was required to memorize bible verses and recite them for a grade, I looked down at the paper and saw the bright red F across the top of the page. I am not brilliant, but I also do not enjoy getting F's in classes and this was not my first. Amid the panic and horror, I kept wondering "How could this happen to me. am I stupid?" Then, the recess bell rang and I was out the door in a flash ready to take on the jungle gym and it's climbing pleasure. It was there that Lindsay Monasmith, a girl in my class, came up to me and asked. "Chloe, why are you so fat?" Now, being a ten year old girl with low self esteem I couldn't help but feel devastated at this question with a statement implied. It was my beginning of conforming to the societal pressure girls succumb to. I clambered off the monkey bars at that point, walked inside, went into the bathroom stall, and cried.

It had been a rough year for me. It was the year where the idea of growing up became prominent and working hard on academics had to become a main focus. It was the year where I actually did start failing things in classes and even though getting an F on an exam was shocking, it was not necessarily uncommon. When I finished crying in the stall I started wondering about what the cause of my problems were.
"Maybe I'm stupid because I fail everything."
"Maybe I'm chubby because something is wrong with me."

All these thoughts and questions were valid but only made me shameful of myself, which is something that is not acceptable in anyone's life.
By the time I got home and told my mom everything she sat me down and told me the statement that jumpstarted my academic and life motivation.

"Chloe" she said, "You're not stupid, or ugly, or fat. You are exactly who you are. Going through life, some people are not going to like that, and not everything is going to fall into place for you. But that's life, that's what has to make you seek it and embrace it."
I decided that night that it was time to advance in my life. It was time to focus on school and not expect it to come easily to me. And it was time to accept the fact that I may not be everyone's version of perfect. I grew up that day. But what does it mean to "grow up"?
When do we go from childish instinct to adult intuition? 

Lily, in Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees,  decides to grow up when she journeys to the place that holds her dead mother's secrets and the key to Lily's release from the grasps of guilt and shame. It is there that Lily knows where she came from and what she is proud to be, furthering her journey through life and learning what commands it.

The boys in William Golding's Lord of the Flies  are forced to face the reality of growing up as well. However, their rendition of "growing up" is molded by the human instinct of control and animal savagery. Growing up is not about figuring out who you will be in the end, but deciding to take the journey of making yourself who you want to be. My journey has been rough in patches, but I cannot wait to see the overall outcome of who I'm supposed to be and where I'm supposed to go.