Text Connections


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The Village:

In M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Village the town elders found a village named Covington in the middle of modern day Pennsylvania where they live as if it is sometime in the 19th century. These town elders are trying to improve the lives of sorrow and loss of which they had lived before the formation of Covington. They want to remove themselves from an existence that only hurt them, attempting to live lives of purpose and contentment within their isolation.

The Crucible:

In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, John Proctor rises against the outlandish allegations that are made within the town of Salem, consequently sacrificing his life in return for the release of the truth. Unlike the majority of the characters in The Crucible, Proctor decides that he will not stand by the lies which are being declared and by standing up and stating his beliefs, he is sentenced to death. Proctor did this because he knew that there was no other way to cause a change in this terrible situation. Proctor chased a life of meaning by seeking the truth.


Summer ALIS Book:

The character of Walter Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun has deep motivations to become successful. In his pursuit of financial triumph, Walter sacrifices not only the trust of his mother and wife, but also his son’s opportunity for a prosperous future. Racism is just one of the ideas that the Younger family has to overcome during the play set in the late 1950s. Struggling to achieve the freedoms that have never been extended to members of his family, and most of the African American culture at this time as well, Walter pursues a lifestyle that would allow him and his loved ones to prosper in a cruelly white-dominated society.


The Lottery:

In Shirley Jackson’s short Gothic Story The Lottery, the characters engage in a brutal human sacrifice ceremony every year in which they stone the chosen townsperson to death. The townspeople uphold this tradition in order to ensure they live the best lives possible while they are alive. It doesn’t seem like a large price to pay to them, to lose one neighbor every year, as long as it ensures them more happiness while they are living. And, of course, as long as it isn’t them who has been chosen for this morbid death.


The Minister's Black Veil:

In the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Minister's Black Veil, a small town minister mysteriously covers his eyes with a black veil. After our class discussion on this story, it seems clear that the minister put on this veil in order to take on all of the sins from his town. This city is clearly depicted as very ill-accepting of the minister's new accessory, and this attitude alludes to the possibility that they have sinned in many other ways, after all, no one would know their sins quite like their minister. By internalizing all of the wrong-doings of his town, the minister is making his own life full of purpose. He has defined his ideals, and by actually going on a lifelong mission to achieve them, the minister has become everything that he set out to be in his life, making a difference in the lives of those who lived in the town.


Romantic Poetry:

In Oliver Wendell Holmes' romantic poem Departed Days he describes a life that is spend fighting the nature of existence, fighting the waves of the ocean. Holmes' poem embodies what my personal philosophy represents, he urging people to not just allow the ocean to take them in whichever direction they flow, because they will end up having lived a unfulfilled life. By using the lines:

We strive against the stream...
The mist grows dark, -- the sun goes down, --
Day breaks, -- and where are we?
(Holmes 10, 15-16)

He speaks of the end of the light, the end of a lifetime, and looking back at the way they had lived and realized that they hadn't accomplished anything. Holmes thinks that you need to make sure that when you stop swimming, and your life comes to an end, you would be able to look back at the life you have lived, and feel a sense of pride in your accomplishments.

Transcendentalist Quotes:

"Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something."
-Henry David Thoreau

This Transcendentalist quote relates to my personal philosophy because Thoreau is encouraging one to go beyond a common level of existence, he is begging the reader to push their boundaries and attempt to truly become someone and achieve something within their lives. Thoreau, agreeing with my personal philosophy, simply wants all people to take advantage of the unique opportunities they have in their lives and develop them into something to define their life by. Something to live for.

"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
-Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau continues his idea of the pursuit of all possibles successes in order to live a life of meaning in this quote. In this line, however, he draws upon the idea that sometimes you can chase and chase and chase a dream, chasing until there is nothing left to follow, when in actuality, what you really needed was in the opposite direction all together. Sometimes, despite the internal need to matter, desire can burn out, and the need will never be fulfilled. One's crave for their dreams can only take them so far, once the map dead ends, there is no going further.


Frederick Douglass:

In the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass searches for a life greater than that of the average American slave. He goes about this quest by the means of education. Douglass had, as long as he could really clearly remember, been enslaved and robbed of his human rights to an education and life's greatest opportunities that come with it. So, despite the hardships that come with trying to reinvent the life that he has inherited, Douglass embarks on a quest to go beyond the life of a slave, and achieve great things.