David Wallace, “This is Water,” The really important kind of freedom
Fact: The really important kind of freedom involves attention, awareness, discipline, effort, and the ability to truly care about others.
Fact: This kind of freedom is the alternative to having an unconscious “default-setting” attitude about life.
Analysis: Attention, awareness, and effort are key to achieving a “good life.” Being involved and becoming an active participant in your own life will enable you to choose what’s best for you. Sitting back and allowing life to happen around you may be easier, but it will be miserable.
Capital T-Truth, David Wallace, “This is Water”
Fact: means “life before death.” You get to decided how you see life: what has meaning, what doesn’t, what you worship, etc.
Fact: Capital-T Truth also involves simple awareness – what is essential and real around us, i.e.: water. (Nikki Flynn)
Analysis: If you’re stuck in traffic or in a long line in a supermarket, thinking about other people’s situations might make you less frustrated.
You’re not the only one – everyone at the same intersection or grocery store is in the same situation as you. You get to decide whether this little road bump in your day will ruin your day or whether you’ll just take it with a grain of salt. Being able to accomplish this will be a step to achieving the “good life.”
Victoria Pagan, “The Onion”, Role of the poet
Fact: Poets are typically good at manipulating language.
Poets allow their readers to view the world in different manners.
Facts: Poets are often considered people who appreciate pushing the standard of language and going against correct grammatical formats.
Analysis: Without poets the boundaries of languages and grammatical formats would never be challenged. Poetry can come any many forms its completely to the authors discretion.
Victoria Pagan, “The Onion”, lyric
Fact: A lyric poem is a very personal statement even if its not in the first person “I”.
Fact: A lyric poem reveals what the poet wants to say using imagery and “oblique” methods rather than straightforward analysis.
Analysis: Lyric mode’s purpose is to communicate the author’s idea through imagery rather than statements so that readers walk away feeling as though they have discovered the meaning of the work rather than they have been told what the meaning is.
Victoria Pagan, “The onion”, Chiasmus
Fact: Chiasmus is a form of poetry where the repetition of sentence structure forms an x-formation, derived from the Greek letter chi.
Fact: Through the use of this form, the poet creates concentric circles of her words, reflecting the rings of an onion.
Analysis: This is one way Szymborska is staying consistent in her theme of using something as simple as an onion to get across some of life’s bigger problems, such as displaying the imperfections of daily lives. The poet uses the formation of an onion not only as an analogy for a bigger problem, but also as a model to construct her words.
Victoria Pagan, “The Onion”, Neologisms
Facts: A newly invented word or term. Neologism would seem to occur at a greater rate in cultures with rapidly changing technologies and greater means for information dispersal.
Facts: Words that do not exist used to express a feeling or description.
Analysis: The author uses neologisms in the poem “Onion”, to feat the power of suffixes to make the “Onion” into an abstract noun.
Victoria Pagan, “The Onion”, Parachesis
Fact: Similar to “assonance” or “consonance;” literally means the repetition of the same sound in several words in close succession.
Fact: In “The Onion,” the poet pushes the limits of language in order to give readers a better picture or grasp of what the onion is.
Analysis: The diction in the poem, which includes parachesis, gives the poem a more complex language, similar to the complexity of the onion. The language of the poem can be somewhat hard to comprehend and hard to say, similar to how the onion is complex and difficult to understand at first.
Paulo Neruda, Parthenogenisis
Facts: A virgin-Brith resembling asexual reproduction
Facts: A form of reproduction in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual.
Analysis: The title of the poem represents the idea that our differences are slight but makes up part of a whole. The rebirth of life and or into a new society.
Facts: Pablo is a Latin American poet that lived in the 20th century. He is a Noble Peace Prize Winner.
Fact: Wrote Parthenogenesis to convey his feelings of returning to Chile after years of traveling.
Analysis: He felt isolated from the culture he was used to before he left Chile and was surprised to that he returned to the same country he used to call home. The differences in the culture and demeanor of the people was displayed in the poem Parthenogenesis.
Fact: “poetic persona” is considered to be the person behind the poem. Poetic persona allow for quick characterization.
Fact: In Parthenogenesis, the reader sees the poetic persona experience the feelings Pablo Neruda felt in a change in his homeland.
Analysis: The reason the poem is about him is because it means creating itself.
Kupperman, Six Myths About the Good Life, pleasure vs. happiness
Fact: Pleasure is an agreeable feeling that one typically wants more of.
Fact: Happiness is a more permanent feeling than pleasure and does not have to have a direct cause.
Analysis: Happiness and pleasure, although sometimes related, are very different concepts. Pleasure is temporary. One can experience pleasure without being truly happy. Likewise, one can live a life without many pleasures but be generally happy. Pleasure has less to do with the good life than happiness.
Kupperman, Six Myths About the Good Life, “flow” experiences
Fact: Experiences that require a lot of focus and attention tend to separate the person experiencing the experience from the “self” which in return de-stresses the person and allows for pure enjoyment.
Fact: From a physics point of view… Being in the “zone” triggers a lot of neurological connections which in return lowers overall energy which results in a higher chemical stability.
Analysis: Learning and acquiring new skills, as well as appreciating life in general, seems to be the only plausible goal to a long term happy life. Many wise “geniuses” always seem to enjoy the passivity of time itself. Take a look at any picture of Albert Einstein!
Kupperman, Six Mythis About the Good Life, Hedonic Treadmill
Fact: Living a life aimed at attaining and feeling an ephemeral state of pleasure results in an endless hamster wheel styled way of living.
Fact: The root of the transient nature of pleasure derives from habituating the experience and thus, devaluing it.
Analysis: A wise person should not seek pleasure as a means to live a comfortable/happy life. All that that does is guide you away from the sole purpose of sustainable and long term happiness.
Herodotus, The History, Solon
Fact: A lawmaker whose rules were sworn to be followed by all Athenians for at least ten years.
Fact: He claimed that he traveled to experience the world, but in actuality he wanted to avoid removing the laws that he had created.
Analysis: Solon furthers our understanding of the good life by showing us that people must strive to achieve their own idea of the good life in spite of the limitations set forth by society. These limitations could be laws which help or hinder various perspectives of the good life.
Herodotus, The History, Croesus
Fact: He holds some form of power in Sardis as he own a palace with many servants and has vast riches.
Fact: Croesus was meeting with Solon as he had heard that Solon was very wise and wanted his opinion of who was the most blessed of all the people he had crossed paths with.
Analysis: Croesus was shocked to discover that Solon did not think him to be the most blessed. His bewilderment in their difference of opinions shows us that everybody has their unique idea of what the good life really is and how it can be achieved.
Herodotus, The History, Tellus
Fact: Considered the most blessed because of his city, his children, and his glorious death
Fact: Tellus is the Roman goddess of the Earth.
Analysis: Solon said that Tellus was the happiest man on Earth because he had more than monetary value. Tellus had a family, wealth, and he died for his country. This proved Solon’s point that only money can’t achieve the Good Life.
Herodotus, The History, Cloebis
Fact: Him and his brother are considered the second most blessed.
Fact: Given death as a reward for taking his mother to the temple.
Analysis: Although Cloebis is considered the second most blessed, he cannot be satisfied as fully as he can be in death. This raises the question of what can a man have during life that can make life better than death.
Herodotus, The History, Biton
Fact: Him and his brother Cloebis are considered the second most blessed.
Fact: Mother asked for reward to sons at temple and Hera gave them both death.
Analysis: A comment on the human condition. Both Cloebis and Biton were not satisfied with being second most blessed in their life and questions the reader that life might never be as good as death.
Herodotus, The History, Cyrus
Fact: Ruler, son of Cambyses, ordered his men to mount the wall siege the fortress, where he captured Croesus and was about to kill him.
Fact: When presented with Croesus’s story, about how those who think they are the most blessed and rave in their own power, are not actually the most blessed, Cyrus had a change of heart about Croesus’s fate. He understood that the man he was about to kill was changed by humility and in return recognized he should prefer peace to war.
Analysis: It is helpful to learn from those around you, to hear them out and observe the changes they have made in their lives, so that you do not make the same mistakes they have. It is also good to sympathize with your enemy because in the end they have experienced many of the same things you have and it is possible to change the direction of one’s fate.
National Geographic, Inside Mecca, The Hajj
Fact: A Muslims pilgrimage to mecca and is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Fact: The journey recreates Muhammad’s own path as the native son returned to his tribal home as the leader of a vibrant new religion.
Analysis: The Hajj shows the symbolic of human equality and unity before God. Its all about finding ones true self and praying unto god to give away all the troubles and trails and for God to see there hole heart.
National Geographic, Inside Mecca, Kabaa
Fact: The Kabaa is a simple stone building, about 50 feet high, located at the center of the mosque in Mecca. It is considered a religious or spiritual center for Muslims; however, Muslims do not actually worship the Kabaa. They worship what it represents: the one true god.
Fact: Muslims believe that Adam was originally ordained by God to build the Kaba, and some say that Abraham rebuilt the Kaba after the Flood. There is also a Black Stone in one of the corners of the building, and Muslims believe that it fell from the heavens. Many try to touch the Black Stone, whilst many are happy to simply lay eyes on it.
Analysis: Many groups of people seek out the good life through religion and spiritual pilgrimages. It is interesting to note that many people believe that seeking the good life involves traveling to a place they consider very sacred and very valuable, and reaching that landmark will help them achieve the good life.
National Geographic, Inside Mecca, Ihram
Fact: State of purity that Muslims must be in for the Hajj. Being in the state of Irham is signaled by the clothing one wears.
Fact: The simple clothing worn during Irham is to symbolize the pilgrim’s equality regardless of race, age, and class under God.
Analysis: One must be in the state of Irham the entire time of the Hajj. This can be difficult to achieve because of the chaos of the pilgrimage. The state of Irham is important to pilgrims because during Irham one must put everything aside and focus solely on God.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, living deliberately
Fact: To live deliberately, as meant by Thoreau, is to live away from all distractions; social, financial, prideful, etc.
Fact: Living deliberately is to try to observe and contemplate reality and nature as is, in its virgin (parthenogenesis) state; embracing and reasoning through its entangled simplicity. (
Analysis: To live deliberately, as meant by Thoreau, is something that requires much motivation and selfless interest. I really believe that to live deliberately one has to isolate themselves from all “things” and to do so in this time of day is a challenge. Having to work for a pay check to pay for a bill, or buy food, or gas, or maintenance, etc. is restricting and distracting yet “necessary.” It seems that we are tied down to all the we do. Even if one wanted to live in nature, there are property taxes one would need to work for. Ultimately, I think that the only escape, nowadays, is to ironically save up a lot of money, build a house in nature, and think and reason distraction free.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Transcendentalist
Fact: Henry David Thoreau was a leading figure in the transcendentalist movement.
Fact: The basic idea of transcendentalism suggests that the human connection with nature is necessary for intellectual and moral stability.
Analysis: Many times people allow modern distractions to distract them from their goals and can even corrupt a society. The transcendentalist movement suggests that in order to discover what it truly means to be human, we should look to nature. From a force that is so natural yet so beautiful and powerful, we can find value in ourselves and in others.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Wounded Imagination
Fact: “It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart, it being much more sensitive.” An imagination is the most vital thing that you have because it allows you to see differently and move along from the parameters that are given to you.
Fact: A wounded imagination is one that does not have ways of thinking differently; it locks one into seeing things only as the way they are first seen. One with a wounded imagination might think, “If it does not happen this way it does not happen at all.”
Analysis: An imagination is a necessary component to living a good life. Taking things at face value, not being able to see beyond the conventional way of doing things, would give one a pessimistic attitude when things do not go the way as they were intended to go. Not only this, a wounded imagination would create little room for success in life. If the first solution attempted does not work they would give up. All careers and academic courses and many daily tasks, like picking out what to wear or eat, require creativity and imagination.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Men have become tools of their tools…”
Facts: People are involved in their tools and their tools are controlling the individual.
Facts: People consume in pretty tools which distract the induvial from more serious things.
Analysis: ” Men have become tools of their tools”, means People are so consumed in their tools that the individual is not running their lives but their tools are. People have become tools of our tools and we forget to exist.
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, Govinda
Fact: Govinda praises Siddhartha, thinking he has very intelligent thoughts and great will. He is Siddhartha’s closest friend. The two of them leave Brahma, venture into the forest, and search to become samanas.
Fact: Govinda and Siddhartha travel to hear the teachings of Guatama, the Sublime One. Once there, after hearing the words of the Buddha, Guatama decides to stay and to follow Guatama’s word, in an attempt to reach Nirvana.
Analysis: Govinda represents the “people-pleasers” of society. His actions are self-motivated but not self-evoked; he is a follower not a leader. In an attempt to achieve the good-life, this may lead to happiness but not to Capital-H Happiness. Everyone will have a slightly different way of achieving Happiness, therefore, if you only follow the ways of others you will never completely fulfill your potential to live the good life.
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, Samanas
Fact: The Samanas are wandering mendicant priests who are starved, half-naked, and believe they must beg for food.
Fact: The Samanas believe that Enlightenment can be achieved through asceticism.
Analysis: The Samanas believed that by putting their bodies through physical pain – thirst, hunger, devoid of dreams and pleasure, no shelter, etc. – their bodies would become empty vessels. Once their bodies are empty, pain can no longer be felt. Without pain, the self will slowly decay, something else will surface, and the body will be at peace. They consider this “peace” to be Enlightenment and a sign that they have finally achieved the “good life.” However, once they would wake up, they would have to start anew to attain “peace” again. Therefore, their “good life” is only temporary – a way to escape the world around them. They can only achieve happiness for a little while; they will never attain capital-H happiness.
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, Asceticism
Fact: Asceticism is a lifestyle that advocates for an avoidance of all indulgences by means of self-discipline.
Fact: Siddhartha was definitely ascetic although after contemplating (after his conversation with the Buddha) he realizes that the lifestyle is technically like trying to rid a book of periods and commas; it is ignorant to the things that make us who and what we are.
Analysis: I think the intention behind asceticism is true and justified, but the means to it (suffering and killing ones senses) is an unwise one. No matter how much we reason we can never reason outside our own heads.. it is impossible to separate “yourself” from what you are. I think that a more thought out “means” would be to really try and understand who and what we are to begin with (and hopefully eventually realize that we are nothing more than nature itself).
Herman Hesse, Siddhatha, Guatama
Fact: Guatama is considered the “Sublime One” or the “Buddha” and has great teachings. His teachings involve renunciation as a means to escape suffering.
Fact: Guatama has overcome the suffering of the world and has brought his karma and rebirth to an end.
Analysis: Even though Guatama’s teachings draw many people to come listen to him, it is his appearance and physical being that seems to inspire people. Guatama is the physical embodiment of his own philosophies, serenity, and all-around goodness that he teaches. He reached Nirvana, or Enlightenment, by transcending the human world and becoming a distant, holy presence; no petty human problem can bother him. His smile seems to come from his own essence and no effort is required- symbolizing that he has reached capital H-happiness, and the “good life.”
Four Noble Truths
Fact: Buddhists abide by these four rules in order to reach nirvana.
Fact: The idea is that life is suffering, the origin of suffering is attachment or desire, and letting go of attachment will end suffering.
Analysis: The Four Noble Truths act as guidelines or instructions on how to achieve salvation. There are simple, but not so easy to follow. Salvation could be thought of as achieving the good life. It can be attained through ending the human cycle. This cycle of reincarnation will cease once the attachment to transient things is let go. Transient things can range from physical objects to ideas. The desire for attachment is the reason for suffering. A common attachment that may be encountered is the idea that “If I don’t make an A in this class, my life will be over.” The Four Noble Truths emphasize acceptance of any outcome and to rid oneself of these lowly desires. Only then can one become enlightened and reach salvation. Their suffering will end and the good life will be achieved.
Spiritual vs. Religious
Fact: Religion is made up of beliefs, dogma, doctrines, ideas, and practices; it is a community of people coming together in a common belief.
Fact: Spirituality is the belief in a transcendence without the ritual of religion.
Analysis: The idea that one can be spiritual without being religious is becoming increasingly common. Religion is very organized and communal whereas spirituality can be a much more personal and individualized experience. One may not agree with all of the practices of the church, for example, but still believe that there is a power greater than humans and that transcendence is the ultimate goal. Spirituality and religion are tied very closely together as they share a common goal. However, just as most religions are different in their methodology, those who identify as spiritual rather than religious also differ in their means of believing and practicing.
Liminality, David Hackett
Fact: Liminality usually takes place during rites of passage, or when going from one status to another.
Fact: Liminality embodies anti-structure, moving away from the stability of home.
Analysis: Liminality is the lack of structure. It is a state of uncertainty in which nothing is clear. It relates to the good life because it is the experience felt before moving on to the next stage in life. Siddhartha, for example, is very liminal. He is constantly searching for answers, seeking out enlightenment. He had abandoned the security of his home in hopes of encountering that which he was looking for. However, liminality does not just apply to Siddhartha. It is experienced by everyone at some point in their life. It can even be witnessed right now as college students. We are no longer bound to the rules of our parents. Anything could happen. We are somewhere between childhood and adulthood, lost between two worlds.
Fact: Transcendence is the idea of a world beyond this world and of forces beyond human comprehension acting on our world.
Fact: Coupled with transcendence is the idea that we should lead lives that will eventually bring us to this world beyond our world.
Analysis: Many people lead what can be considered a “good life” with the hope that their efforts will lead them to some sort of salvation or transcendence. It could be hard to walk a straight path without the idea of a eternal reward. Why not fall into temptation if there is nothing there for us after death? The idea of transcendence is that if you live a good life you will be rewarded with a happy afterlife. Transcendence is also a way for humans to make sense of the world we live in. Much that is present in the physical world can be hard to explain or comprehend. The idea that everything in this world is not intended to be comprehended by mere humans is a part of transcendence. Transcendence is a way to explain tragedy, miracles, the unexplainable, and even random acts of pure kindness.
Fact: Ferryman who teaches Siddhartha to learn from the river. Vasudeva leaves Siddhartha once Siddhartha has achieved enlightenment through the river just like Vasudeva.
Fact: Does not try to teach the path to enlightenment to Siddhartha like Gautama and the Samanas, rather just encourages him to listen to the river and learn its wisdom.
Analysis: Vasudeva’s approach to teaching the path of enlightenment appeals to Siddhartha because Vasudeva does not try to lecture Siddhartha but rather encourages him to find his own path to enlightenment. Siddhartha finds enlightenment this way because one must find their own way to enlightenment and Vasudeva allows him to do this.
Fact: A beautiful woman that Siddhartha decides that the only way court her is by gaining wealth.
Fact: Becomes Siddhartha’s teacher and shows him love. Displays how the material world is not what he desires.
Analysis: Kamala demonstrates to Siddhartha that to seek the good life, wealth is not needed. However much that wealth can satisfy people, it is not the true good life.
Fact: The state of enlightenment, the end of suffering and the place of ultimate peace.
Fact: The goal of Buddhism, the highest state where individual desires do not exist.
Analysis: Independent of beliefs or religion, reaching the state of nirvana is the end goal. Any place where a person feels at peace can be considered nirvana. With the everyday stresses of life interfering the search of the good life, a person can relax by striving towards nirvana.
Fact: Atman is ultimately the pure essence of an individual beyond recognition
Fact: Siddartha tried to connect Atman and Braham because Atman is considered to be “true knowledge” which everyone already possess.
Analysis: Atman is who we are as people without Atman an individual cannot know themselves. The only way to truly be free and live the good life is to obtain self knowledge.
Fact:is a continuous cycle of life,death,and rebirth siddartha goes through this process when he is searching to find himself.
Fact:due to his materialistic views siddartha became depressed he realized his worldly things only brought him down to that of a normal person.
Analysis: siddartha learns that worldly possessions is not the key to reach the good life of a state of eternal happiness.
Susan Bordo, Reading the Slender Body, 20/20 Study
Fact: In the 20/20 magazine it showed several ten year old boys were shown some photos of fashion models. The model were pencil thin.
Fact: The pose was such that a small bulge of hip was forced, through action of the body, into protuberance as is natural unavoidable on any but the most skeletal or the most tautly developed bodies.(
Analysis: 20/20 showed the perception of how weight is key, the self-criticisms of the anorectic, which is usually focused on particular soft, protuberant areas of the body rather than on the body as whole.
Susan Bordo, Reading the Slender Body, “tyranny of slenderness”
Fact: The burning desire of women everywhere to slim down their bodies through strict diet, exercise, and even surgery.
Fact: Technology and industry build around obtaining thin physiques have led to increased conscious awareness of the two extremes, obesity and anorexia nervosa.
Analysis: The tyranny of slenderness has created popular critical consciousness of the dangers of fat reducing techniques, such as stomach stapling or liposuction. Pictures of the ideal body type have emerged to which people constantly compare themselves. While these images and methods serve to help people lose weight in order to live healthier lives, they end up doing the exact opposite. People, especially women, becomes obsessed with shaping their bodies to the point where it may not be good for them. However, they are not blame. Society pressures women into having these physical transformations because these are the physiques that men desire. The problem is that women are stepping away from the reproductive figure. Women may also not enjoy what they have become possibly making life miserable. Therefore, the good life can also depend on what people desire in the physical state of being in addition to the mental state.
Fact: He argues that an unstable construction of personality is produced by the contradictory structure of economic life.
Fact: Did significant work with regards to the social body of consumer culture in order to demonstrate how the “correct” management of desire in that culture, requiring as it does a contradictory double-bind construction of personality, inevitably produces an unstable bulimic personality-type as its norm, along with the contrasting extremes of obesity .and self-starvation.
Analysis: Robert Crawford has motivated Susan Bordo, among others, to analyze and understand the societal and cultural effects of “unbearable weight” on woman and its implications.
Fact: Heavy industrial goods (iron, steel, railroads, machinery, and food processing). Also can be an early factory system with Industrial Revolution.
Fact: Shift away from producer to consumer capitalism. The agonistic construction of personality is produced by the contradictory structure of economic life.
Analysis: Consumer capitalism, is the show that as producers of goods and services we must sublimate, delay, repress desires for immediate gratification; must cultivate the work ethic.
Fact: Women were the primary target of advertisements for luxury products; even if said products were to be used by men.
Fact: Men consumed almost two times as much as women in the mid 1900s yet advertisements continued target women and even make them feel like they had to look and live a certain way.
Analysis: Whether we like to admit it or not, the media has a substantial influence on how we live our lives. For women this is especially true. To be society’s idea of beautiful and successful there are certain criteria you must meet. This ideal beauty is basically sold to women through the products and services the media deems appropriate. Rather than women consuming these products and services, they begin to consume women.
Kevin Connelly, Double Take, “What If?”
Fact: In chapter 3 of Connolly’s book, he discusses how children ask him “Why don’t you have legs?” while he is playing in a ball pit in McDonald’s. This leads to a discussion of how him and his mom play a game of “What if?” to teach him a lesson of causality.
Fact: Over time, his responses got faster to the questions his mom would ask him. The most elusive question that his mom always asked him was, “What if a kid comes up and says that you don’t have any legs?” Kevin never had a solid response to that. He would either say, “Yeah, you’re right” or “Yeah, I do, I just don’t wear them all the time.”
Analysis: His mom had ulterior motives for this game of “What if?” It was not just for fun, or to keep Kevin entertained. She wanted her son to know how to respond to real-world situations that would be embarrassing, and might leave him speechless had he not prepared. This game taught him the effect of his actions and reactions to situations. The game of “What If?” also got Kevin to know that people were going to perform “double-takes” on him, and that people might downright stare. His mom wanted him to get used to this idea while he was little, so he could take his situation with grace and not get angry when people asked questions or stared. Being able to be content with his life through learning and talking about the answers to his mother’s “What If?” questions, allowed him to live his own “good life” and not worry about what everyone else thought of him.
Kevin Connelly, Double-Take, “Snapshot”
Fact: In chapter 11 of Connolly’s book, he describes his living situations and experiences while in Vienna. He skateboards around town and people stop him to give him money or food, just because they feel bad for him and to tell themselves that the legless guy had been “dealt with.” However, this embarrassed Kevin to the point that he would not stop at all while skateboarding around town.
Fact: His hatred of people alms-giving, gave him an idea. His form of vengeance was to take snapshots, without the person knowing, of the exact moment when they would stare at him in curiosity, or even in disgust. By comparing the snapshots of people from around the world, he realized that he had a universal effect on people – even if it was just for a split second.
Analysis: Kevin’s snapshots of people’s curiosity made him feel good/ better about himself. This was his way of being able to stare back at the people who stared at him. It was an outlet for all his anger and resentment towards all of the people who stared and gave him nasty looks his whole life. Being able to express this anger in a safe, non-violent fashion will help him to not hold grudges and to clear his consciousness from hating everyone. His new “happy” mindset will allow him to live a “good life” without repercussions. Both of these chapters, but “Snapshot” specifically, help us understand the theme of the module – embodying the good life. He learns to not mind the fact that people stare, and he makes the best of his life even though he does not have legs. In other words, being able to take these pictures of the other people allows him to “embody” and embrace the life God gave him, attain capital-H Happiness, and the “good life.”
Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, HeLa Cells
Fact: These are cervical cancer cells that grow indefinitely and have led to the creation of numerous modern medicines.
Fact: The cells were extracted from the body of an African American woman by the name of Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge.
Analysis: HeLa cells have been studied for sixty years and used in various experiments. They have brought forth new discoveries in the scientific community and are critical in the treatment of herpes, leukemia, influenza, and hemophilia. The products they have been used to create have generated millions of dollars for the companies that have patented their research of the cells. Although these cancerous cells have immensely benefited the world, they have killed Henrietta Lacks and done no good for her family. The irony lies in that despite her contribution to the field of medicine, her family still cannot afford healthcare. On top of that, the fact that she was black may have also been a factor. She was betrayed. The HeLa cells were taken from her without her knowing. Had she been alive today, would she have lived the good life knowing that she paved the way for hundreds of medications? It is really up to the person and in this context it could go either way. She could be happy knowing that she saved millions of people, or she could be angry that she and her family did not benefit at all.
Fact: Debra Lacks is the daughter of Henrietta Lack; Henrietta Lacks was an influential tool in modern medicine.
Fact: Debra Lacks is a devoted Christian, which could be associated with her deep roots from the south. Debra Lacks believes that her mother Henrietta or Hela spirit live on in the Hela Cells.
Analysis: upon finding out about her mother Hela Cells she believed that the “white community” or scientist were trying to take advantage of the Lacks family. However she soon realized the importance the Hela Cells played in modern medicine which is considered to be one of the biggest achievements in medical history.
Fact: George Gey practiced at John Hopkins University, he was the doctor who took cell from Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge.
Fact: Through his deception he discovered something amazing about Henrietta’s cells. Her cells could grow indefinitely.
Analysis: Yes George Gey made a tremendous discovery in the medical field, but he willingly took advantage of an African American woman for the sake of science.
Mark Twain, Excerpts from the Diaries of Adam and Eve, Satire
Fact: A satire can have two meanings, satire is generally used for humor, irony, and exaggeration to ridicule forms of writing.
Fact: MarK Twain uses satire to mock different aspects of the modern world.
Analysis: Twain used satire to mock Adam and Eve. Twain uses mocking humor to describe Adam as being a lazy and Eve is considered to be a know it all.
Fact: Samuel Clemens became as Mark Twain February 1863, father was a judge and he worked as a printer’s apprentice, river pilot
had anti-imperialist, abolitionist, pro-labor. He wrote Adam and Eve.
Fact: Born November 30th 1835, one of his favorite places is the river was the Mississippi river, he wrote that he tried to memorize the details of the river like one recalls the stores on the busy street.(
Analysis: When Twain wrote Adam and Eve it was for us to see the characters as not writing to anyone and not to us, it gives us the satirical out look of new comers. He quotes “those who share the space of the tree of life.” That’s very deep because it’s showing that we must see things in the eyes of how Adam and Eve saw things. He even goes as deep as to show the significant of all the earth from the stars to the one little mosquitoes.
The First Chestnut
Fact: Twain speaks about “The first chestnut” in his writing Diaries of Adam and Eve, Snake lies that the apple is a chestnut and Eaten by Eve.
Fact: “The First Chestnut”, is where Adam and Eve meets, the story tells us what is good for one might not be good for the other. With Eve eating the apple from the chestnut tree a series of events happen that Adam and Eve does fully understand.
Analysis: “The first Chestnut” gives us the meaning that being in new places make us prone to error but also to learning. Our experiences makes us wiser and more resilient. Sharing what we know about one another makes the college experience. The chestnut tree was a blessing because yes, they lose the garden but the gain love through the ups and downs.
Fletcher, Befriending of Luna the Killer Whale, Vancouver Island
Fact: Luna, a baby killer whale, was found off of the western coast of Vancouver Island. The community took up a loving, caring relationship with the whale who was in great need of social interaction. Luna’s death happened when he was backed up into by a large boat.
Fact: There was an effort put in place by the government to prevent people from touching and interacting with the whale. However, the local community blockaded the government from doing so; after no success with moving the whale, the government abandoned the efforts.
Analysis: In the absence of a pod, the residents and visitors of Vancouver Island provided the comfort and social interaction Luna desperately needed. Not only did the community provide for Luna, but Luna, with whomever he interacted with, gave a feeling of love, playfulness, and fulfilled a need for compassion. Vancouver Island was Luna’s home, on the surface of the waters he swam in were his family. While it is easier for a member of a species to relate to, and therefore be comforted by, members of their own species, companionship, no matter where it comes from, is vital to the survival of a living creature. If there are any, there are very few accounts of a member of a species surviving in complete isolation. Just as Luna was provided, as well as provided, companionship and as so many dogs provide love to their single owners, compassion and company is necessary for the good life.
Fact: Nootka Sound is an area on the western shore Vancouver Island in Canada
Fact: Luna the Orca lived in the nootka sound waters until his death in a tragic with a tug boat.
Analysis: without the intervention of the native people of Vancouver Luna the whale would have been captured by the government. This relates to the good life because it teaches the idea of family and friendship.
Fact: More commonly known as killer whales, these socially feared creatures, for their massive size and sharp teeth, are actually more sociable creatures than the human race. These creatures, especially in their younger years, always swim in pods; this is the reason scientists were shocked by the appearance of Luna, a lone, baby orca, off the coast of Vancouver Island. In their pods they often touch and play.
Fact: Orcas have been known to be deadly to humans that come in close contact with them. However, Luna frequently came up to boats, urged people to pet him, spouted out water in a playful manner, and even allowed some to actually put their hands in his mouth and touch his tongue.
Analysis: Luna, and Orca’s in general, display the importance of interactions with other animals and organisms, that is essential for the health of a living organism. Beyond this, however, Luna is representative of the idea that companionship and love can come in unconventional ways. In either direction, human-to-orca or orca-to-human, unconventional relationships filled with love and playfulness formed. Luna’s stories reminds us that putting instincts behind, to be afraid of traditionally competing species, can help us find and form deep partnerships. In living the good life, be hesitant of judging a being by looks, preconceived feelings, or societal reputations. Form relationships through the desire by either organism for love and compassion, rather than steer away from a potential relationship because it was unpredicted.
Clive Thompson, I’m so Totally, Digitally Close to You, Ambient awareness
Fact: Ambient awareness is described as “incessant online contact” that is a paradox: each update on its own isn’t important, but all of the updates put together describe someone’s life.
Fact: Ambient awareness is like being able to read someone’s mind and notice how their mood changes throughout the day without having to be with them or physically ask them.
Analysis: People are being judged based off of their posts. Social media posts can be taken the wrong way because without physical interactions with someone, you never know how they are truly feeling. Just because someone posts a photo of them smiling, doesn’t mean they are truly happy, but other will think they are because that is what the image is conveying. People determine your “good life” based on your posts and how they think you are feeling at that moment.
Fact: Micro-blogging occurs when users post frequent short updates on what they are doing in that current moment.
Fact: Micro-blogging is different from blogs because they are much shorter, more frequent, and less carefully thought out than regular blogs.
Analysis: People feel the need to share their lives with others in order to attain “social approval.” They thrive off of this “social approval” and this dictates whether or not they are living the “good life.” If you get a lot of likes and positive comments on your posts then you will feel good about yourself and your place in society, which will lead you to have a temporary of feeling of living the “good life” until something bad happens to you and the cycle of posting a comment about it begins again.
Fact: No message is the single most important message; it is the sum of the messages that matter.
Fact: The idea of simply sitting next to someone and letting them know that you are aware of their existence. Only this is done through virtual means
Analysis: Aggregate by definition is the sum of multiple parts. An example removed from social media could be reading in general; when you read one word there is no story. However, when you read all the words on a page they begin to come together to from meaning. This is the same with posts online. Although the tedious details of an individual’s day-to-day life might seem unimportant or frivolous, you can tell a lot about a person when you read what they consider to be important enough to share day after day. Reading one social media post can seem meaningless but when you continuously put the messages together a story begins to form.
Fact: It was discovered in 1998 by anthropologist, Robert Dunbar.
Fact: It represents the maximum number of social connections that a person can have and is about 150.
Analysis: The good life may include interacting with other people in order to learn more about their customs and cultures. The Dunbar number limits how many people we can know and therefore inhibits the good life. Keeping in touch with more people will lead you to be more diverse and open-minded of the world around you. Social media sort of works around the Dunbar number, allowing us to interact with more and more people. However, we are still confined to it in terms of family and close friends.
Fact: Parasocial relationships use up emotional space in our Dunbar number that otherwise would have gone towards real people.
Fact: Awareness tools like News Feed are creating these parasocial relationships as we stay up to date with the lives of distant people.
Analysis: Having these one-sided or fictional relationships can help people live the good life because they give people a sense of ease and power. Relationships with real-life people are big commitments and take lots of responsibility. In contrast, being able to stay up to date with people who you have never met is much easier with social media and makes you feel all-knowing. It’s sort of like being able to read other people’s minds. You can see how other people’s lives are unfolding and you don’t have to take any action, like you would in an actual relationship. For example, if your close friend lost his job or home, you would probably help him out by giving him a place to stay. With parasocial relationships, you have no obligation, which reduces stress.