The Renaissance (Wo)man

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Photo by Katherine Harlon from Unsplash

This is for the who has shown that starting over does not mean you are behind on a success race. That a success race is just a personal perception that can be overcome by changing your mindset. That everyone is on a different timeline and that things happen at their own time.

This is for woman who has shown that there are different measures of success besides money. That making a difference and pursuing something that you are passionate about may be more fulfilling than a full bank account. This woman has inspired me to re-evaluate my goals.

This is for the woman who has shown me that not everything is planned. That some businesses happen by accident and they do blossom into beautiful things. The key is to start.

This is for the woman who has shown she cares about other women by building a platform that inspires and empowers different women from completely different backgrounds. A platform that shows that we all have similar hurdles to overcome. A platform that reminds us that we are not alone in anything that we do.

This is for the woman who is unapologetically authentic no matter what circumstances they face.

This is for the woman has shown that there is a thing called imposter syndrome. That the dreadful feeling has a name, that it is common, and that it can be dealt with.

This is for the woman who has shown that you do not have to be perfect at something to achieve your goals. That perfectionism is a barrier for many women who won’t try anything for the fear of failure.

This is for every Phenomenal Woman.

 

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A Scrutiny of Frankenstein- Part 3

This is an analysis of Letter 4 from Frankenstein (Penguin Classics).

 

The letter is a recording of events that occurred as the crew was sailing. R. Walton says, “So strange an accident has happened to us that I cannot forbear recording it,”. He does to avoid the distortion of his memory. It proves that our minds are not reliable as humans sometimes conjure up images that did not occur. He does this to avoid our tendency to exaggerate events that happen around us.

This letter informs of the first meeting between Robert Walton and a stranger whom he admires. The stranger arrives during an ominous storm. He is injured, and he exudes the feeling of horror and sadness. Walton is drawn to the stranger and therefore he takes care of him. The readers feel as if he identifies with the character. Moreover, since Walton has been feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness, he becomes closer to the stranger and he begins to “love him as a brother”.

This letter also proves that humans are bad at predicting the future. Walton believed that he would find “no friend on the wide ocean”, yet he finds someone. It proves the uncertainty of life. It emphasizes the importance of keeping a journal. The reflections would help us prove not to trust predictions in the complex life we live.

A Scrutiny of Frankenstein- Part 2

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This analysis is based on Letter 2 in Frankenstein (Penguin Classics).

R. Walton starts his letter by telling his sister about the progress that he has made with his ship and his crew. Even though he tries to set a more positive mood, there is a feeling of loneliness. It appeals to the reader’s sense of pathos. He says, “I have no friend, Margaret”, meaning he has no one to share his success and failures with. The feeling of satisfaction he gets from being successful is brief.

Psychology says that humans are social animals and that they seek people who are similar to them. The character wants someone who has similar tastes to him. He says, “I have no one near me, gentle and courageous, possessed of  a cultivated as well as a capaciuos mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans”. He is describing his character in someone else. Because he has a sense of exulanasis, he gives up trying to explain how he feels to his sister. He feels as if committing words to paper is a “poor medium for the communication of the feeling”.

In his letter, he gently describes his lieutenant, whom he has great admiration. This man lives a life of existential means as he has traits that are not situational of heavily influenced by his surrounding. He has made his own path despite being “wholly uneducated”.

His letter  becomes more similar to the speech of the modern motivation speaker. Despite his loneliness and sadness, he does is not “wavering in” his “resolution”.

He makes reference to the poem The Rime of the “Ancient Mariner”,  which shows that he is enthusiastic about acquiring knowledge and wisdom from his travels. It is a romanticised view of getting old. He believes he is meant for more. He has a sense of alexithymia, which is the inability to express or define how he feels.

The closing of his letter gives a tone of wistfulness and sadness. He missed his sister. However, he has stoically accepted that he may never see her again. In addition to that, he seems to be preparing her for the worst to happen.

A Scrutiny of Frankenstein- Part 1

This essay is an analysis of Letter 1 which is a letter written by R. Walton. Whom, for now, is a stranger to me.

The letter starts on a positive mood. It sets a tone of enthusiasm, hope and determinism. It is an odyssey, where he describes his travels to his sister. The positive tone may be to reassure her that everything is going well and that she should not worry. The character describes “cold northern breeze” which gives him a feeling of “delight”.  This imagery gives emphasis about his excitement since cold weather is usually associated with depression.

The character has found inspiration and a new outlook on life. He mentions that “nothing contributes so much to tranquillise the mind as a steady purpose”. The phrase reminds me of what macroeconomics teaches us. How the people who have been unemployed for a long time fall into a deep depression because they have no sense of purpose. The letter becomes a form of inspiration in this case. It shows how having a new perspective and motivation can positively affect a person.

As the letter continues, we recognise a form of rebellion in the character. He does the opposite of his father’s wishes when he embarks on his voyage. His “father’s dying injunction had forbidden” his uncle “to allow” him “to embark in a seafaring life”. Moreover, the character displays an undeniable form of curiosity. He shows this by showing a pursuit of knowledge that seems unparalleled. He learns everything, maths, science, medicine. There is also a longing for recognition. In the letter, we see that he wants to “obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated”. He is ambitious.

The character also shows a stoic outlook. He says, to his sister, “If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never”. He is content to take risks even if he does not know the outcome of this.

Letter 1 of Frankenstein offers a lot of insight into life. After a lot of scrutiny, it is even relatable. We have a lot to learn from R. Walton.

 

The multicultural equivalent of wealth

I grew up in a gated mining town where I was isolated from the world. Because of the mining company, the public school attended had better facilities than most public schools in my country. There were plenty of textbooks. There was a library full of books. The schools had everything.

I felt safe to walk through the streets at night because of the street lights. Since permits were required to enter the town, there were fewer people coming in town. This, for us, meant lower crime rates.

During my teenage years, my mother went back to university to further her education. Since she lived in a small apartment near her university campus, I went to live with my grandparents in their village. I attended a local junior secondary school (junior high) which was different from where I grew up. First, the classes were larger, and the buildings were rundown from years of vandalism. My new peers borrowed everything, pencils, sharpeners, anything. Most of them could not afford uniforms and had to bear the harsh winters since the principal did not approve of anything that was not the school uniform.

It made me uncomfortable to see people struggling while I had everything I needed for school. It was a shock. We were all around the same age, yet there was a wisdom in some of my peers’ faces. They had experienced more hardships than I could ever imagine. It made me feel spoilt. And I quickly grew out of the selfish, only child mindset and learned how to share my resources.

In addition to this, my grandparents lived near a bus rank (bus station). There was a constant bustle, with people either living or coming into the small village. There were constant attacks. Thefts. Harassments. The crime rate was high. At one instance, a young woman escaped her assailants by running straight into our house since the door was open. My grandfather kept it open because he wanted fresh air. This prompted my grandfather to put locks on the gates. I became paranoid. Every time I walked in the streets, I looked behind me to check if someone was following me. It was probably my own footsteps.

By luck, I ended up in a private school for my senior secondary school years, the equivalent of high school. I was in boarding school, so I was gated in again. I was safe from the outside world. I could walk freely within those gates. I could wear what I wanted within those gates. I felt lucky within those gates.

I was around “rich kids” during those years. They are not the selfish people who tv likes to portray, they just grew up having more. At times, I found myself longing for the things they had and their ability to travel the world. I was impressionable. I forgot about how lucky I was and how far I had come.

That school opened a lot of doors for me.

Now I live Australia. I attend the University of Queensland on a scholarship. My monthly allowance greatly exceeds the minimum wage of people who live in back home.  The university is amazing, advanced. Everyone has a laptop. Everyone has a phone. The internet is fast. Everything is fast. It is a normal way of life for people around me, they are used to it.

Here, I can walk in the street as late as 12 am, from the school library, and feel safe enough to walk, at a normal pace, from the bus stop to my apartment. Nothing is in the dark.

There is a sense of wisdom at having experienced this change. I was content. Now I feel lucky. I keep reminding myself to be grateful and to appreciate where I am. I keep reminding myself not to get used to it. Not because I feel as if it will not last. I never want to forget to be thankful.