As human beings, we are made imperfect, and do not have total control over events that affect our lives, thoughts and emotions. We may be implied to feel anger and do things we never thought we were capable of. We may enter into sadness, and experience a kind of sadness that couldn’t be cured. The beauty of life is learning how to overcome these emotions, these thoughts, and emotions. To be able to pull through from the worst times is the most rewarding experience of life. Every day, we as human beings experience how life can easily be influenced by changes that cannot be controlled. The Assault and Paradise of the Blind are novels in which these changes or events can unleash the worst characteristics of people, and a battle for control ensues, between the mind and the forces of nature. Ultimately, all the realities of misfortune and tragedy combine with the emotions of inner will power to overcome everything and move on to the future and forget the past.
In The Assault, Anton Steenwijk selfishly believes that it he can change what Fate has regrettably bestowed upon him. However, no matter how much he tries to forget the events of his past and move on fate will not allow it. He does not realize that the only way to ever rid himself of the past is to accept it what has happened. Try he does, but one thing fate does not allow is the truth. Not until Anton has lived a whole life does he ever really find the truth of how his whole family was mercilessly slaughtered. Fate is what the world has planned for you, fate is everything you can’t change, the actions of people around you, and the events that affect everything around you. For Anton fate was just an element of the past, to him nothing but Anton himself could affect the events of his future.
The battle between Anton and the past, was eventually won by Anton as he stands in the crowd realizing, “Everything is forgotten in the end. (185)” Yet, the battle was lost easily. Fate never allows Anton to forget, when he runs into Fake Jr, unexpectedly meets Takes, and lastly bumps into Karin Korteweg. Fate will always come with unexpected events, “It’s no coincidence… (89),” its fate. In the end Anton proves to be the larger power, with the help of the realization of the past and the ability to accept everything as it is Anton moves on from the fate of the past, Anton lives his own life. Paradise of the Blind is a tale about a young woman overwhelmed by her misfortune. The novel tells a story of Hang, who from the very beginning in plagued with bad luck, when she first receives news of her ill uncle.
Hang’s fate was not written by herself, but by the hand of her parents, who first encountered the area of misfortune. Fate chose the ____ family to bestow so much misfortune upon. With the reoccurrence of parental losses, sickness and poverty, fate does its best to set up a eventual fail for Hang’s life. Throughout the novel Aunt Tam also is a target of fates’ misfortune, but she is also the only example for Hang of overcoming such bad luck. Aunt Tam has such natural will power; she is such a hard worker that luck no longer becomes an issue. Aunt Tam learns to make her own luck, she fights the hard times, and wrestles with failure to become a wealthy renowned woman of her village. In going against the status quo she becomes an example to Hang, an example of overcoming the bad, to take matters into your own hands when everything is lost.
Hang’s last bit of misfortune occurs as Aunt Tam passes away. With the realization that Aunt Tam built a life up from the ground with nothing and from where she was to how she died, Hang realizes that she also has those same characteristics. The novel does not go into detail on how she reached her potential, but the reader is led to believe she overcame the bad to finally reach a life led by her own self, opposed to all of fates’ misfortune. In both novels the characters attempt to combat fate, emotions and destiny; ultimately overcoming them all too become someone far better than they thought they could be. Hang and Anton can very easily be compared, as both relive their past and do their best to change or forget it.
Hang similarly to Anton loses her father, and this impacts her life almost as much as Anton’s life was affected by the loss of both his parents. An influential character takes the place of the lost parental, Anton his Uncle and Aunt, Hang her Aunt Tam. The fight for the win over destiny ensues throughout the novel and as both Hang and Anton fight to rid their past they find out more about themselves than they ever knew possible. The battle of emotions is finally won by the two unfortunate souls, and the journey to the finish proves to pay off. Anton gets to live free from the wonders of his past, and Hang begins her life as herself not being held back by anything or anyone.
Mankind has tried to conquer its hidden demons because it is afraid of them. But despite all of the technological advances that have been made, they are still being undermined by fates emotions like jealousy, hatred, and arrogance. The human race fears fate for it unleashes the worst qualities in people, and can not be conquered by the machines that are revered so much. It is naïve of humans to believe that they can ever vanquish the bad events of time, but they are intent on driving out any memories of times of imperfect. Yet they do not realize that imperfection is humanity’s greatest trait and weakness at the same time, and that these fate exist to make this fact obvious to all.
Courtney from Study Moose
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