Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mob Mentality and Lord of the Flies

In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, William uses the group of boys as a mob as both a positive and a negative. When the lighting strikes on Jack's feast in chapter 9, the littluns gather in a nervous circle of saftey and begin to chant "'Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!'" (152)

Prison Experiment Responce

When you put good people in an evil or uncivilized place, people make up their own rules based on what they think and the situation often turns uncivilized, or savage. For example, in The Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by professor Philip Zimbardo. Good college kids were split into guards with uniforms and shades and prisoners with gowns and new names that were a string of numbers. The guards were told not to hurt any of the prisoners, but as the time went by this rule from society was neglected and the guards chastised the prisoners. Another example of evil taking over our senses is in the book by William Golding called Lord of the Flies. In the novel, one boy named Jake rises in antagonism, painted his face "'for hunting. Like in the war... Like things trying to look like something else (63 Golding)" and eventually became chief of a savage tribe. Everyone on the island except a few young boys became savage, or overcome by evil. Because of these two different examples, I believe one thing stays in common; good people become bad and/or savage in an uncivilized world.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Lord of the Flies" Smoke in the Air

 "Smoke in the Air"

           "Something flittered there in front of his mind like a bat's wing, obscuring his idea" (108)

Ralph's moment of doubt is being compared to a bat's wing. He had an important idea that he wanted to convey to the group about the necessity of smoke from the fire on the mountaintop for their rescue, but Ralph's inner child took a second to stop him and look at the fun everyone else was having pushing rocks into the ocean. Ralph is twelve. But his mature- and adult-self recovered quick because their situation on the island is serious. Also, Ralph believes their number-one priority should be making enough smoke to be noticed and rescued from this remote island. Golding uses figurative language here because doubt is a hard thing to visualize. Ralph's second of uncertainty is gone like the breath in between consecutive sentences and can easily be skipped without the visual Golding writes for readers in this sentence.

The image above represents the moment when Ralph has his doubt. His idea is the light behind the hands, trying to get through. The hands represent the bat's wing and/or doubt. The hands block out the idea and become the focus of thought.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Everybody Can Learn Empathy

"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins" (Sharon Creech "Walk Two Moons"), step in their shoes, jump into their skin and get a feel from their perspective. That is the essence of empathy. I believe that you can teach someone to have empathy, and here is why; empathy is not something you are born with. It is something you learn. We are born ready to learn empathy, through other people and from stories (John Green). There are three great reasons why I think people can learn empathy, because we are born naturally caring, because our lives revolve around others' lives in so many ways, and because we're all different.

Correspondingly, every human cares about something. A mom always cares for her son. Even after he makes mistakes, his mom can see the emotions in him; confusion, anger, wrong and forgiveness. She sends him to his room, but hugs him before he goes. Her mom probably did the same to her when she was young. This mutual understanding is the goal of empathy. How about when a man helps an elderly women clear her driveway after a snowstorm? Or when you help a kid who broke his leg carry his books to class? These actions where people are "listening out for people's feelings and needs" (BBC Magazine 3) may seem to be simply nice things people do for others, but I think their is understanding, care, and generosity weaved into that. You might not have been in that situation before, though you want to help. I'll repeat, every human cares, and to learn to care is a step in learning empathy.

Furthermore, we all live on the same planet. We are all humans. Are lives are all intertwined. Sometimes we forget how much of an impact we make on the other people in our lives. We'll meet a lot of people in our lives, and we'll pass by even more. But what if you stopped and had a conversation with the homeless man instead of easily walking past him? (BBC Magazine 4) You might be surprised at how much you can improve your empathy and build a friendship. (BBC Magazine 5) Your elementary school teacher was probably giving you empathetic pointers, too. When her class of students is talking and throwing paper airplanes during class, she'd say something along the lines of  ""hold back from interrupting, and... reflect back" (BBC Magazine) on what I've taught today." That line holds a lesson in itself. Listen to the people around you. Think about what they've said. You wouldn't simply dismiss your mom's scolding, or risk making the same mistake again. As children we are taught empathy from the lives of the people around us.

Additionally, it is a well-known fact that no snowflake compared to any other will be exactly alike. Every flake is different in some way. Just like us. No human lives the same lives as any other. Ourselves are modeled by time and sculpted by our experiences. "Developing an awareness of all those individuals" (BBC Magazine) around you can help better shape your life with theirs. Get a feel for their life and add empathy to yours. You could learn empathy at a baseball game. When you look out at everyone gathered in the stadium, you recognize what they're all here for the same reason and you recognize how many people in your area you never knew before had the same interests as you. Or on those master chef shows where everyone creates a unique dish revolved around the same few ingredients. As you watch more a competitor is eliminated each round. You cherished the fervor and stress for time, felt their disappointment after witnessing their lose or cheered them in victory, and relived their backstories. People can learn empathy even from the television. Characters and stories can hold a lot of lessons in empathy, too (John Green).

Given these points, I think I have covered the obvious: people can learn empathy. I have discussed three main ways why I believe empathy can be learned, through our differences, the people connected to us in our environment and because of our ability to care. I have also covered many ways within these reasons that people learn empathy. To help sum of what I've said, remember that "people are more than just the way they look" (Madeleine L'Engle, "A Wrinkle In Time").

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mental Illness Isn't Bad

Mental illness doesn't have to be a negative thing. There are many ways people can make their lives great because of their disability. The media has portrayed mental illness in many ways, these ways range from having a positive and negative effect. I'm going to focus on the positive, which is very much probable for anyone to achieve. In the article, "Mental illness sans cliches", the author writes to empower and inform people on mental illness and the media. She found many examples with television characters who have mental illness. Well, I have an example to tell as well. In the movie Forest Gump, Forest is the main character and he's born intellectually disabled. This kind of disease makes Forest the perfect candidate for joining the military. Their strict rules on how to act and what to do make a perfect environment for Forest. He learns to always respond with "yes, sir" and to obey the drill Sargent. In one portion of the movie, Forest is the first to finish because is was told to complete the task as fast as possible and his only goal was to do that. Forest is smart because of this and, because of his intellectual disability, this is ironic. As you can see, people have found positive ways to cope with their mental disability. Maybe this is a goal everyone with a mental illness can try to shoot for.