Rebellion in Monotony

It is interesting to me how society can be so repetitive when one of the things that society is best at is rebellion. It is almost as if we spend our lives trying to find loopholes and ways around rules that we don’t agree with or rules that we don’t like, yet, we all end up in the same place, more or less.

From the very beginning of Genesis, we have Eve disobeying God in the garden. Her disobedience is not met with death, but rather, it receives an invitation to go on living, albeit somewhere else. This point seems to resonate with even our society today: everyone makes mistakes and most of us just go on to live afterward. Even Moses stresses this point, as he includes a large number of genealogies throughout the entire book of Genesis. Even with Noah and the flood, some part of society is allowed to go on living, even though mistakes were made.

This continuation and repetition is more of the philosophical, circle of life type of point, but what is more intriguing to me is how our choices and rebellions contribute to change. For example, Eve’s decision in the garden resulted in clothing, among other things, which made for a slightly different way to continue living life. It seems to me that change is sprung though rebellion and disobedience, and the change builds up on a small-scale to create a large-scale different way of living that advances society over generations, without straying from the path of life.

Immanuel Kant brings up an interesting point at the start of his Conjectural Beginning of Human History that alludes to Plato’s Cave Allegory. In essence, Kant writes that the freedom to choose a way of living is not something that one can turn from, once it is discovered. Basically, we like to feel as though we are in control of our lives, even though nature dictates its length, which Kant further touches on. Kant notes later in the text that nature restricts the level of advancement that can be achieved through freedom of thought, in regards to science. In this sense, he acknowledges that humans are intelligent, and capable of creating change on a large scale, but we are restricted by death. In this way, nature allows only for change on a small scale, while forcing a repetitive rhythm of life: birth, education, contribution, death.

I am one that believes in change, whether it is genuine originality, or a remake of a previous idea. I do, however, appreciate that change most often comes in small increments, which, I suppose, indicates that I don’t mind the repetitiousness of life as I know it. Going back to last week, it is easy for me to imagine Sisyphus as happy, as perhaps he is content in knowing what comes next, and change may come in his lifetime-a change in weather patterns or, in his case, muscle mass, it doesn’t come fast enough to have a huge impact on his life. Change only comes fast enough to keep life interesting. 

Hippocrates states: ars longa, vita brevis, meaning "Art is long, life is short". I think that the same concept can be applied to change: Change is long, Life is short. 
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Pre-texts (no pun intended)

Before reading any of the texts, and you get to know my literary analysis side, I hope to give you a small impression of who I am!
I chose the ARTS ONE program because I actually enjoy writing essays, which, as I understand, is a rare quality. As such, I express my ideas and opinions far better on paper than I do in verbal discussion, so this blog thing may just work well for me!

So here are some literary facts about me:

  • The longest essay I've ever written was 3901 words. It was a literary essay on themes developed by music in Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo, a book which I highly recommend!
  • My most recent read was Richard Wagamese's Ragged Company.
  • The first book I remember reading was C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew.
  • The most disturbing book I remember reading so far is a tie between Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits and Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who fell from Grace with the Sea
  • As far as plays go, I really enjoyed reading Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot  and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest
  • I quite enjoy the poetry of T.S. Eliot as well as Pablo Neruda's political poetry (but not Neruda's non-political works). I'm not a fan of W. B. Yeats' poetry.
  • I am fascinated by George Orwell in all of his works that I have read including 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as many of his essays including Shooting an Elephant,  A Hanging, and How the Poor Die; all of which I highly recommend reading at some point in time.
  • I've been warned about Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness...
Well, that's it for now. Next up: Insights on Genesis and Kant
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