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American author, born in 1940’s, Peter Hamill sympathetically writes to Americans born in this age about the danger of addictions that may not be seen as illegal to explain how addictions can change one’s life. Hamill poses the point that is hard to live one’s life when one has an addiction. Any true addiction can be truly life-changing. The author starts the essay with a personal anecdote of a woman that is addicted to drugs and the children are addicted to the television.
He states, “Her story was the usual tangle of human woe: early pregnancy, dropping out of school, vanished men, smack and then crack, tricks with johns in parked cars to pay for the dope” (Hamill 1). Her life has been forever changed; she never finished high school to get that chance to go to college and be successful. It seems that she is living her life in that hotel without any meaning besides finding her next drug dose.
Another example in the text is the Michigan State University study.
Children are asked whether they would give up their fathers or TV, and the majority of kids would give up one of the two people that gave them life (Hamill 2). In this decade, TV is a big part of a child’s life. They come home from school and watch it until time for bed. They often become obsessed with the characters that they watch every day. This television becomes their life, and they ignore life around them and the people that gave them life.
A child may never experience the outdoors or the outside world, and this causes changes in their life. Addictions give nothing more than a good feeling that may not always last. Despite her poor living conditions and the predicament, she has got herself into, when asked why she does this to herself, her immediate response is “makes me feel good” (Hamill 1). There are other things in this world that can give you, but yet these people can’t seem to get away. Hamill shows us that something as easy as getting a job is not seen as more worth it than the feeling they get when they shoot up, smoke, or watch TV. Hamill writes, “But none could give sensible answers.” (Hamill 2).
The addictions that are consuming their lives are powered by the need to feel good, while there are other ways to accomplish this. However, when addicted, people cannot take their eyes off of what is causing these addictions. They are addicted to the feeling it gives, but also to the cause of this feeling. The feeling of being successful can override the feeling that one gets from drugs, but an addict never gets to see this since they focus on the feeling that the drug gives them. A child can acquire a good feeling from running outside and playing, but they never experience this from watching a television that gives everything to them. Peter Hamill writes to all who will listen to his personal experiences, and what they showed him in the life of one who is addicted. All addictions take a hold of someone and cause them to lose sight of reality.
As you see in the text, addictions cannot be solved with a decision to stop. It is how it seems, rather difficult to give up the one thing that is causing one’s addiction. However, some addictions can be worse in view of society than others. Such as television and drugs. While these represent a bigger picture of all addictions, television isn’t illegal, but drugs are. If something takes a hold of a human, they are going to be controlled by this. Their life is going to revolve solely on the factor that has them addicted. The addiction and the cause of addiction are going to control one’s life. If one gives their life to an addiction, it is going to be hard for them to gain control back. Their choices are going to be altered to fulfill what their addiction calls for. Once the person has become truly addicted they are going to lose themselves and any choice they want to make. Despite all of this, it is the choice of each person whether they want to consume or partake in something that may addict them.
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