In Act 2 of Hamlet, Hamlet is surrounded by many people that profess to be his friends, but only one of them is actually considered by Hamlet to be a true friend. That person, Horatio, is the only person that Hamlet is able to trust.
To fly, or not to fly: that is the question:
Wether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The angst and frustrations of travelling by car
Or to take flight amongst a sea of congestion
And by escaping receive envy? To anger: to frustrate;
No more; and by a flight to say we end
The irritation and the mind-numbing
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a state
Much attempted to avoid. To fly, to be free;
To be free; perchance to tolerate transit: ay there’s the life;
For in that freedom what enjoyment may come
When we have shed our shackles of gravity
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes light of such a long flight;
For who would bear the stench and noise of automobile transportation,
The oppressor’s wheels, the proud man’s V8
The pangs of despised stop lights, the law’s traffic police
The insolence of that driver and the spurns
Of that turn signal.
When he himself might his flight take
With a smile on his face?
To what extent do parents have the right to "spy" or check up on their children?
In todays world of hyper connectivity and easy access to literally everything through the internet, I believe that it is important for parents to monitor their children, at least while they are still young enough to not know how to protect themselves from everything that they can be exposed to. I believe that this monitoring should be done in stages, first, the parents should pay close attention to what the child is doing in both real life and on the internet from when they are born to around about 12-13. Then, the parent should start to ease of the monitoring and just require some checks some of the time. Eventually, around 15-16, the parent should only have to ask "Hey, are you doing something you aren't supposed to?". Once the child is an adult, I believe that the parents immediately cease having any and all rights to "spy" on their child.
I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
their women and children and a keg of beer and
This poem is a poem about the search for happiness. It describes a person that goes to many people that one would think that would know about happiness, such as philosophy professors and wealthy executives. However, none of them have an answer for him, and they smile at his efforts. One Sunday he goes out for a walk and sees a crowd of people just communicating and enjoying living life together. Looking at this scene, he realizes his answer, that happiness comes from living life and enjoying doing so.
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Ideals are behaviours, goals, or attitude that are considered 'perfect' or 'desirable' by groups of people.
Many ideals such as those of desiring to live a full life or desiring to be wealthy are common around the world, and widely agreed upon. However, ideals are formed from cultural expectations and societal attitudes; so depending where one is in the world, these ideals can be considered undesirable. The ideals of one culture and society can vary greatly from those of another and these differences often cause conflict.
For instance, in Saudi Arabia, women are culturally considered to be 'inferior' and in need of protection. This leads to certain cultural rules that are implemented, such as the idea that women should not be allowed to drive at all. However, since Saudi Arabia is only one country on this earth, and every other country in the world allows women to drive (even if there is still sexism surrounding female drivers), there is often conflict surrounding this, as females in Saudi Arabia start to want the same freedoms that women in the rest of the world are allowed. This has led to such incidents as women being imprisoned for driving in protest of the cultural laws. However, because ideals grow stronger the more people support them, this stigma in Saudi Arabia is slowing going away and women are slowly being allowed to drive - simply because the pressure from the rest of the world's seven billion people is too much for one country to resist.
This idea that ideals are influenced and even completely reversed by societal peer pressure is illustrated in George Orwell's essay: Shooting an Elephant. In it, Orwell is pressured into shooting a peaceful elephant (something that his own ideals and moral compass would prevent him from doing normally) by the pressures and expectations of thousands of Burmese people watching him. Because in this situation he is a English police officer, and he needs to maintain 'face' and the respect of the people in order to do his job, he is forced to shoot the elephant as not shooting it would have led to the massive crowd ridiculing him.
These stories perfectly illustrate that ideals are not universal, what is accepted in one part of the world may be despicable in another. Ideals and goals for life change from culture to culture and one must always be respectful of other people's ideals and goals lest they find themselves being the one ridiculed for their ideals.
Switching paths for a moment, let's talk about peer pressure; the kind that Orwell was faced with. If you were in front of a crowd of two thousand people waiting for you to do what they expected of you, would you do it? Would you be able to ignore that pressure and just do what felt right to you anyways? Personally, I think that my answer to this question relies on the nature of what they were expecting me to do. I would be lying if I said that without fail, for any situation, I would not give in and I would do what I wanted to. I think that in such a situation, I would rely on an altered version of my normal moral compass and decision making processes to determine what I would do. For instance, in that situation with a large crowd expecting me to do something that I wouldn't normally do, I would question whether not doing this action would be worth risking the potential ridicule, mob violence, or public shaming that could result from not following the group's expectations. There are things that I would never do, even under such pressure, such as physical or sexual abuse, murder, suicide, engaging in life-threatening activities (running across a busy highway, anyone?); but there are also things that I wouldn't normally do by myself that, in the case of such pressure, I would probably give in and do.
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The first two chapters of the book "Night" give us a picture of the factors that shaped Elie Wiesel's identity both before the of the book and during the events.
These factors can be divided into a few main categories:
His family is what formed his initial self-identity, through the expectations they had of him and how they interacted with him. His mother and father ran a store, and his two older sisters helped with that. Elie, however, is told that his place is in the house of study, to become learned and wise. This shapes his identity to one of curiosty regarding learning, and leads him to seek instruction in matters of religion and spiritual growth.
The next factor that influences Elie is the factor of his religion. Elie is a Jew, and as such is a follower of many traditions and is also certain to be judged by others; especially Nazis. His religion not only affects his self-identity, how he describes himself, but also his public identity, how he is judged by others. Elie describes himself as a devout Jew, dedicated to learning about God, and seeking to become One with Him through spiritual enlightenment. This influences the decisions he makes; such as accepting Moishe the Beadle as his tutor in the intricacies of Kabalah. Moishe in turn also influences and molds Elie's identity through the knowledge and understanding that he leads Elie to. Out of the three factors, Elie bases most of his life and decisions on the connection to his religion that he has.
The third factor that influences Elie's identity is that of the events that occur around him. First, Moishe is deported because he is a foriegn Jew. Then, he returns and warns everyone about the horrors that are being committed against Jews. However, Elie did not believe him, and sought to get him to just move on with his life and stop trying to warn others. This is Elie's first encounter with how crushing encounters with Nazis are, as Moishe tries to tell him that he wanted to return to try to warn the rest of the Jews so that they may "ready [them]selves while there is still time." Elsie doesn't understand what he means right now, but once he reaches Auschitz, he will understand.
These are the factors that are revealed to us as shaping Elie's identity in the first two chapters of Night. Doubtlessly, his identity shall continue to evolve as he goes through experiences in the upcoming chapters; much as our identities are always evolving.
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