The Crucible

By: Arthur Miller
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The Crucible can relate to my philosophy statement quite a bit. Abigail and Proctor come to my mind as the most prominent characters in the film and the play. Abigail, in my mind, was a very strong girl. She was very capable and she showed it when it was appropriate. She is a lot like me in many ways. She didn't take any kind of accusation against her lightly and she knew what she had to do. Even if her motives were not "pure," she used what she had experienced to get through to the next stage in her life. A big part of her life involved Proctor. Proctor also had a strong personality and didn't let people get away with certain things. A good example of this is when he accused Abigail and the other girls of lying about the witchcraft on behalf of his wife and Mary Warren. He knew Abigail was lying about it, for he always had his doubts about it, but when a loved one of his was convicted he took action. The things that he had endured earlier in his life, such as his ruined reputation, and the stress of having a married relationship and being with Abigail, contributed to his ability to contradict the whole entire society. Both of these characters felt the need to get through to the next level, and the things they had endured beforehand helped them accomplish that.




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The Secret Life of Bees

By: Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life Of Bees is also a good novel to relate to my philosophy statement. Lily had a huge problem throughout the book with many little problems hanging off the end. The first problem that she really endured was with her father. Her father was not a good dad. The things he said to her and the things he made her do is something a normal father would not do. Ever since her mother left, her father treated her poorly. Eventually she got tired of it and had to leave. This was a big decision, but not one that she spent months brooding over. It was kind of an instantaneous decision but she did make it. Then she found the beekeeping sisters: August, May, and June. For awhile she stopped thinking about her troubles. She was hiding from that fear that was keeping her there and keeping her father from finding her. She forgot most of her trials for awhile. But, then things started happening. Lily started feeling guilty that August didn't know everything about her. August had been like a second mother to her, and she really appreciated it but she was faced with a tough decision whether or not to tell August about her real past instead of the one she had made up. Her life before the beekeeping sisters was a pretty tough life. But, in the end, Lily stopped to look her fear in the face, and with many sleepless nights and endless conflicts in her mind, she finally told August. Everything actually turned out okay after that, but the whole process of deciding what she was going to do was a tough one.

The Village

By: M. Night Shyamalan
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The Village was a good example of my philosophy statement also. There was a lot of fear in this particular society. First of all, the elders wanted to maintain innocence in the society they created. In a way they were looking their fear in the face and dealing with it in the only way they knew how. Even if it wasn't the correct way, they were still dealing with it. They had all dealt with losing a loved one in their past lives in "the towns," so they didn't want that to happen to the rest of the society so they hid away. Not only is this sort of dealing with their fear, but they are also hiding from their fear at the same time. One character that really struck me, though, as having a strong character and dealing with her problems as they came was Ivy Walker. Ivy was a character who knew what she wanted in life although she had a minor setback which was being blind. She knew what she wanted in life and she went after it sometimes not thinking what it would cost her. But, she used her past experiences to determine her future. She used those situations that made her stronger in order to take the next task that came along which was by far the most dangerous and trying task of all. She loved Lucius so when he was stabbed by Noah she wanted to go to the towns and get medicines for him. She did this in spite of "the creatures," and all the problems included with her being blind. She had a strong personality and she wanted to "complete the impossible." Which we know that it wasn't impossible at all and it was all fake but she really didn't know that for a fact, especially when Noah started chasing her dressed in the costume. She is a character that I admire all the more for getting the courage to complete such a task that in her mind was impossible. The video below I think does a good job of characterizing Ivy and what she did. The lyrics of the song stand out to me, and so do her actions.



Romanticism

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Romanticism is usually expressed in poems. It is about being strong, being imaginative, and usually has to do with nature. Romanticism also has to do with taking risks, being unafraid, and passion. Romantic authors usually write about something they feel strongly or passionate about. It is also sometimes about something the author has learned or felt and is expressing it through poetry. Romanticism relates to my philosophy statement wonderfully. Taking experiences from your life and using them to learn, and accomplish the impossible basically is romanticism. Gaining strength, courage, and confidence from trials in life is something that is expressed in many romantic poems. Also, doing the thing you think you cannot do relates to romanticism. Have you ever just sat out in nature without distractions and just sorted through your thoughts? When I do, I almost feel as if nature is compelling me to go make goals and accomplish them. Romanticism is definitely part of my philosophy statement.


The Minister's Black Veil

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This was a gothic story we read about a minster who does something for his people that creates fear and questioning throughout the whole village. The pastor knew it would create a wall between him and the community. He was trying to prove a point to the community which was difficult for him because he was very friendly with the townspeople. However, he put a black veil over his face, and wouldn't take it off. Jumping to conclusions, the people of the town assumed he had done something terribly wrong and the veil would be coming off soon when he was forgiven. Time passed, and it was apparent that this would not happen. This minister was sacrificing a lot to get his point across that you could not hide even your deepest sins from God. Now, this was very effective on the townspeople. The ninister took his earlier trials in his life, and sacrificed something "doing the impossible." Many of you would say you could not live without human contact as you are a "people person." People would shy away from the pastor when he came near, and even his wife left him because she was so uncomfortable about it. This was basically the minister's way of "doing the impossible" using his earlier trials in life. As the minister was dying, he didn't let them take off his veil, and as a result, made a statement while dying.


William Wilson

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This is also another gothic story we read. This story does not necessarily take a positive meaning on "doing the impossible," but it happens nonetheless. The man goes through life not living as virtuously as he liked. As the years passed, there was another person that was always around that was just like him. He didn't like this because everytime he was going to do something surreptitiously, the guy would show up and prevent it from happening. One night, he can't take it anymore and he kills the guy; as he goes to the mirror, he sees blood all over himself and invariably kills himself while he thought he was killing the other guy, who was really his conscience. Many people think your conscience is a good thing and getting rid of it is impossible. Well, as this man goes through life, he realized that the other "guy" is pretty much the opposite of him. And, when he finally gets rid of him, he is sick of living the way he is living with his conscience being "perfect" he ends up killing himself as he thinks he is killing his conscience. In a way it is completing the impossible, but he used his earlier trials to get to that point. As I said before, this isn't really a positive way to look at my philosophy statement, yet it still relates.


Transcendentalism

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: "Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old."
This quote definitely relates to my philosophy statement. This quote is saying that you shouldn't dwell on the past; look into your past and learn from it and you will come back to the present and have a new sense of confidence and strength that you didn't have before. Learning from past trials is a huge thing in life. If you don't learn from those trials, you will keep doing them over and over again. Learning from the trials will give you a new experience that you can look back to. When you think you can't endure something, most likely, you can look into your past, find one relevent experience and come to a decision about the problem at hand with more knowledge and experience than if you didn't go through the earlier trial.
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  • Transcendentalism project
For my transcendentalism project, I looked back on my life and evaluated it in the openess and serenity of nature. As I was sitting there, I actually was thinking of my personal philosophy statement. Transcendentalism is really going above and beyond standards and finding your true inner being. But, there are many things in this world that can take away that opportunity. Going above and beyond standards has always been important to me, and like it says in my philosophy statement, "you must do the thing you cannot do;" they sound quite similar. But, going above and beyond requires skill, confidence, and strength. That can only be aquired through previous trials in life. So, transcendentalism really is what Eleanor Roosevelt is talking about. You need to go above and beyond despite all the stereotypes out there, and what other people think. It is what you want to do; you are the only one who can get there on your own.

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


This book has so much to do with my personal philosophy statement. Frederick Douglass was a slave who did complete the impossible. He overcame the pressures of society and not only published a book on his experiences, but also learned how to fight back. He had encountered many horrible trials in his life, but then somehow found the strength to retaliate from his slaveholders, and used those experiences in order to escape. His story is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend reading the book.

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"Any thing, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was not getting rid of it. It was pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or inanimate. The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness" (Douglass 46).

Quotes like these found throughout the book open the eyes of the reader to know that he had ambitions just like any normal person and it shows that Frederick Douglass was ready to overcome the impossible. Fueled by his previous experiences, he was ready to take the chance in order to experience the joy of freedom. He is a great example of my philosophy statement, and I would assume, one of the only people who knows what it is like to "do the thing you think you cannot do."


The Great Gatsby

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"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life." (Fitzgerald 35)
In this quote, Nick, the narrator, is talking about his new life as Gatsby's neighbor. He had just met the Buchanans, Daisy and Tom, and he was describing how he felt. He was not used to this way of life at all. He was used to mellow things and Daisy certainly was not mellow. With Tom cheating on Daisy, Nick felt a little bit intimidated by the way of life in the roaring twenties. Yet although all this was unknown to him and even a little bit fearesome, he dealt with it in his own way. He was "simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life." This quote can also be applied to real life. Life throws things at you one after another and it doesn't stop. It is important to just keep pressing on and deal with those problems head on, like Daisy did and like Nick did in The Great Gatsby.

"He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass." (Fitzgerald 161)
This quote is referring to Gatsby near the end of the book when he realized his undying love for Daisy was not returned by Daisy. Life handed him this beautiful thing years before, and he had held on to that. Then, it took it away just as fast but not after Gatsby had idealized about that his whole life. When he finally met Daisy again, he was afraid that something of their love before had died, but, again, he faced it head on. It did not end in harmony for Gatsby, but in this quote it is saying that everything beautiful in life has something that goes against it. You will never encounter something that does not have a downside to it. That is the cause of fear. The fear of what MIGHT happen or what COULD happen. To face those fears head on is a good thing because you will grow stronger by not allowing the bad things to get to you. Some people think that it is impossible to avoid the bad things, but "you must do the thing you think you cannot do." Going above and beyond is what Gatsby ultimately did for Daisy, but it turned on him. Life can be very harsh but only by encountering the bad will you find the good.