The Role of Self- Reflection in Fifth Business By Brooke von Schilling
The Role of Self- Reflection in Fifth Business By Brooke von Schilling
Self-reflection makes happiness more accessible. This is shown in the book Fifth Business by a contrast of characters, such as introvert and extrovert. In the book Dunstan Ramezay is shown as an introvert and spends his entire life focusing on the spiritual aspect of himself and others. Dunstan is a self-reflecting person who does not find joy in material things, but finds happiness in the wisdom of the spirit. On the contrary, Percy Staunton only finds joy in the material things that life brings him. Percy must have the best of everything and finds joy in showing those things to the world.
He loves to prove that he is better than everyone else because of the things he has. Although Percy is joyous for a small amount of time, he is always searching for something bigger and better than what he already has. Other characters show the importance of spiritual aspects of the world and how humans have destroyed the freedom of wonder and self-reflection. To make sense of life and all its marvels you must be self-reflecting. Dunstan is taught that in order to move forward and become successful he must reflect in himself and forgive himself for doing what all humans do.
Father Blazon says “forgive yourself for being a human creature, Ramezay. That is the beginning of wisdom. ” Blazon is saying that by letting go of the average mistakes Dunstan will be able to focus on what he needs to and have better knowledge of himself because he is not stuck on his small mistakes. This quote can relate to all humans because everyone needs to be able to forgive himself or herself to move past what they have done. This proves that self-reflection makes happiness more accessible because by moving past the insignificant things the spirit is able to focus on becoming greater.
By self-reflecting one is able to see the marvels in everyday. People are always trying to find marvels in material items but by seeing the marvels that one holds within will make one truly happy. “Why do people all over the world and at all times want marvels that defy all verifiable fact? And are the marvels brought into being by their desire, or is their desire and assurance rising from some deep knowledge, not to be directly experienced and questioned, that the marvelous is indeed an aspect of the real. (202)
This quote is made by Liesl, she is saying that people spend too much time obsessing over the things in life that wont bring you true happiness instead of focusing on the inner desires. This quote is saying that the marvels that are desired by the spirit are what will bring happiness. This point is also shown by Father Blazon when he states “Life itself is too great a miracle to make so much of a fuss about dotty little reversals of the natural order. ” By self-reflection one is able to look past the small details and see what a miracle everyday life is.
Also, this quote teaches that one needs to be able to make sense of themselves so they can make sense of life and all of its wonder. It is easier for one to make their own happiness than to wait upon others. By relying on yourself you can find out what you truly need and find ways to receive it, but if you depend on others then you only think about what others are willing to provide. This is shown in the quote: “He had to run his mission by begging, and that sometimes begging yielded nothing; when this happened he prayed for help and had never been refused what he needed. (118)
When the man relied on others to get what he needed he did not always succeed but when he found it within himself to pray for what he needed then he was more successful. By praying the man looked inside himself and thought about what he really needed and asked for it, instead of just taking what anyone would give him. This quote proves that happiness is more accessible when you self reflect because he accepted the fact that he needed help, he knew exactly what he needed, and he received it when he looked inside himself. The only way someone can be truly happy is if they rely upon themselves.
Dunstan states that “nobody- not even my mother- was to be trusted in a strange world that showed so very little of itself in the surface. ” Dunstan is saying that everyone has their inner desires and needs but they don’t show them on the surface. He is saying that you should trust nobody but yourself because you’re the only one that knows exactly what you want. In this quote Dunstan relates to his mother because she is the one h should be able to trust the most but really the only person he can trust is himself. You never know what others truly think of you or your desires so you should only listen to your inner self.
By self-reflecting Dunstan is able to know his desires and figure out a way to reach them, because he can’t show the things he want on the surface. Education does not teach one to self-reflect or to show their true desires. One simply has to look within themselves to realize what you want. Our world relies so much on education that people forget to strive for their passion.
Eisengrim teaches this when he states “We have educated ourselves into a world from which wonder and fear and dread and splendor and freedom of wonder have been banished. This quote is saying that People are so focused on what they need to learn to be successful that they forget to look within themselves and find their aspiration. Eisengrim is a magician and he looked within himself to figure out what he really wanted to be. He is one of the best at what he does so this teaches that if you look inside yourself and find your true desire you can be great at anything you do. Education was not needed for Eisengrim to be great at what he did because unlike most people, he felt the freedom to wonder what his passion was.
Eisengrim is a great example to show that self-reflection makes happiness more accessible. You cannot always rely on others to make you happy, sometimes the best way to be happy is to know what excites you and keep doing whatever that may be. Even if the world is trying to bring you down, if you know yourself and the reasons you did the things you did, you can always be happy. Mrs. Dempster showed this when Dunstan explains that: “She knew she was in disgrace with the world, but did not feel disgraced; she knew she was jeered at, but felt no humiliation. She lived by a light that arose from within.
Dunstan explains that even though the whole world is against Mrs. Dempster she was still happy because she was happy with herself. This proves that self-reflection makes happiness more accessible because if she had not been happy with herself then she would feel disgraced and humiliated. She knew the reasons why she did what she did so there was no need to let what others said bother her. Because Mrs. Dempster was an introvert she did not feel the need to have a good reputation, all she needed was her own approval. Self-reflection is all one needs to be truly happy with themselves.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 8 October 2016
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