Essay: Individuals Are Unable to Comprehend the Importance

Pages: 8 (2657 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … individuals are unable to comprehend the importance of truly appreciating life and they end up realizing that they spent most of their life struggling to build a reputation and a fortune that they never get to enjoy. This is the case in Leo Tolstoy's story "How Much Land Does a Man Need?," considering that the central character, Pahom, believes that happiness is equivalent to material wealth. Although this character did not live to appreciate the concepts that actually matter in life, the banker in Anton Chekhov's "The Bet" is more fortunate. He is on the verge of losing everything that he has and he experiences a revelation as a result of the fact that the person that he wants to murder presents him with the actual meaning of life. These two stories are very similar when considering the fact that the main characters spend a large part of their lives fighting for false values and they eventually come to realize the futileness related to their effort.

Society has a strong influence over individuals and only by employing a great deal of concentration would one be capable of acting in disagreement with its legislations. Pahom and the banker and initially less dedicated to wasting their lives with the purpose of getting rich, even with the fact that they both comprehend the importance of material values. At the beginning of the story Pahom believes that it is perfectly normal for him to fear the devil as long as he is not is possession of a significant area of land. Similarly, the banker was "younger and more nervous" (Chekhov 767) at the time when the banquet took place.

Life changed these two individuals and influenced them in changing their general perspective regarding matters that were actually important. In contrast to them, the lawyer lived in an environment that did not provide him with more than the need for information. The fact that he voluntarily prolonged the amount of time he was supposed to stay in confinement demonstrates that he was not necessarily interested in the financial aspect of this matter in the first place.

When considering the setting in Tolstoy's story, one is likely to acknowledge that it presents readers with a relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand, the one in Chekhov's story is more tensed and the way that it is structure is most probably meant to display the change that takes place in the banker's mind as his deadline gets near. In spite of the fact that they have what they initially wanted, the banker and Pahom feel that it would be wrong for them to be happy at this point and actually get actively involved in trying to find a purpose in life. The former sadly accepts that he wasted most of his life and that he was actually more confined than the lawyer while the latter cannot get his attention off the promise of easy gain and he concentrates on getting more and more land in spite of the fact that he knows the risk that he puts himself to in the process.

2. George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant," Doris Lessing's "No Witchcraft for Sale," Joseph Chamberlain's "I believe in a British Empire," and Jawaharlal Nehru's "The Noble Mansion of Free India" all discuss in regard to essential moments in the lives of their narrators. The influence of colonialism can be observed in each of these texts as writers have acknowledged the fact that this historic event has left its print deeply into cultures that they address. While Orwell and Lessing are inclined to put across their lack of support for imperialism as a whole, Chamberlain does the exact opposite and appears to emphasize his disappointment concerning the fall of the British Empire. Nehru goes even further and relates to the Indian independence as one of the most important values that he can possibly think of.

George Orwell's account regarding the Burma incident is particularly intense when considering the feelings that the narrator experienced as he murdered an elephant for the simple reason that he wanted to be appreciated by individuals around him. In spite of the fact that he appears to be aware of the fact that he had to kill the animal, his hesitation and his tendency to express confusion regarding the overall chain of events that took place that day demonstrate that he was uncertain regarding the act.

"No Witchcraft for Sale" provides an account involving modern-day opportunists as they try to exploit African traditions with the purpose of profiting from the affair. In spite of the fact that the writer does not intervene on a personal level in telling the story, she succeeds in providing readers with a complex portrayal of Africans as they struggle to keep their traditions in the face of threatening European explorers. The writer herself appears to employ an ignorant attitude as she describes this event, this most probably being a result of the fact that cultural clashes make it difficult for individuals to look at matters from an objective perspective.

Joseph Chamberlain's essay focuses on an essential moment in the history of the British Empire and relates to how he feels that his compatriots did not understand the actual role that they needed to play in the colonialist era. Chamberlain claims that he believes "in a British Empire, in an Empire which, though it should be its first duty to cultivate friendship with all the nations of the world, should yet, even if alone, be self-sustaining and self-sufficient" (Chamberlain 918). This makes it possible for readers to understand more concerning his determination and proves that he wants to get actively involved in improving conditions in England and in its colonies.

Jawaharlal Nehru was particularly determined to assist his fellow compatriots as they struggled to recover from the colonial period. However, he did not hesitate to emphasize that this process would be lengthy and complex. He believed that "freedom and power bring responsibility" (Nehru 920). He was not necessarily enthusiastic about the future as long as people were reluctant to consider their condition at the time when he spoke to them.

Orwell, Lessing, Chamberlain, and Nehru all had something in common: they were passionate in regard to their ideals and were determined to do everything in their power to obtain what they wanted. These people all saw the wrongness in imperialism and even though Chamberlain did not hesitate to highlight that personal well-being was what mattered in the end, they were all aware that colonialism had provoked much harm.

All things considered, the colonialist era generated numerous controversies and some of history's greatest minds have gotten involved in discussing in regard to it. People today need to learn how to see matters objectively and from the perspective of individuals like Orwell, Lessing, Chamberlain, and Nehru. Also, they have to become better acquainted with why some things in the contemporary society are the way that they are.

3. Present day conditions in Syria are critical when considering that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has instructed the country's military to use deadly force against any rebels that it comes across. This event can be associated with a larger context involving the Arab Spring, a chain of rebellions that occurred in the Arab world as people started to express more and more interest in criticizing their corrupt leaders. While matters have been relatively peaceful when considering other rebellions, the situation is very different in Syria. The forces supporting the president are much stronger than the rebels and many revolutionaries have been pushed back into locations that they were unable to get out of. According to Human Rights official Navi Pillay, Syrian authorities have gone as far as to capture and torture children. Conditions are worsened by the fact that particular rebels have also lost their ability to think morally and have captured individuals affiliated with the Assad administration. These people are currently tortured with the purpose of providing information regarding the president.

"Screengrab of a video purporting to show a member of Assad's shabiha force captured by the Free Syrian Army" (Syria: rebels accused of human rights abuses - Tuesday 20 March 2012)

In contrast to other Arab states that have experienced revolutions, Syria is led by a much more influential individual and it is thus difficult and almost impossible for rebels to experience success in their endeavor. When looking at numbers related to the Syrian revolution, one is likely to understand why the situation is critical. The president seems unhesitant about ordering the killing of everyone whom he considers to be against his administration. People are dying on a daily basis in this country and no one seems to have any say in the overall chain of horrible events occurring in the country. Extremist rebels only contribute to the chaos in this country by acting similar to the president that they hate so much.

What is particularly annoying about conditions in Syria is the fact that the whole world is acquainted with… [END OF PREVIEW]

Individual Learning Plans in Community Education Term Paper


Importance of Standard Phraseology in Aviation Research Proposal


Cathedral by Raymond Carver Research Paper


Challenges to Managing Multi Cultural Teams Thesis


City of God Essay


View 184 other related papers  >>

Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Individuals Are Unable to Comprehend the Importance.  (2012, March 31).  Retrieved August 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individuals-unable-comprehend-importance/769440

MLA Format

"Individuals Are Unable to Comprehend the Importance."  31 March 2012.  Web.  23 August 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individuals-unable-comprehend-importance/769440>.

Chicago Format

"Individuals Are Unable to Comprehend the Importance."  Essaytown.com.  March 31, 2012.  Accessed August 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individuals-unable-comprehend-importance/769440.