Thursday, September 22, 2011

Death: A Newfound Perspective

In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, we view the events and tragedies surrounding Nazi Germany through the eyes of an unexpected narrator-death. We as the reader learn of death’s moral’s he carries with him each day and of the perspective from which he views the world and the events therein. We get a sense of an unpredicted personality from Death himself and our opinions on death are ultimately changed. Death brings to the table a new take on the tragedies experienced by many in Nazi Germany and is unsupportive of the chaos and heartbreak Hitler’s army is creating in Europe. The narrator is a witty, thoughtful, and moral character throughout the book.
            Death carries with himself on a daily basis burdens, desires, and most importantly his personal moral compass. Death’s moral compass, surprisingly to the reader, consists of a few things that a normal, loving human would consider their moral compass-empathy, observation, peace, and admiration. Death feels for the victims of Hitler’s reign and takes their side, while at the same time ‘working’ for him in collecting the souls of those of which have had their lives stolen by evil. Death also values observation as he watches closely everything that goes on throughout the war, collecting the many unlucky souls, while leaving side notes for the reader throughout the novel. In the introductory chapter the narrator cuts away from the text and inserts a side note. It states: “*** AN OBSERVATION *** A pair of train guards. A pair of grave diggers.” (22). Death is one to take note of his surroundings and analyze them, giving the reader an alternative perspective to the characters in the story, as almost an act of dramatic irony. Death is also, unexpectedly by most, opposed to the termination of life. This may sound unreasonable but death almost resents himself, however, collecting the souls of the lost is simply his occupation and it is necessary for him to do so. This doesn’t mean he enjoys it or takes pride in his job. Lastly, Death admires the living, thriving people of the world and regrets taking their privileges and happiness away from them. He admires the people who work hard and stay strong throughout such extreme times, never giving up on life or giving into well, him. He shares the same views as many, however they do not realize it, associating him with evil and mistaking him with negativity.
            With Death as the main focus and narrator of a story of courage, knowledge, and tragedy, Markus Zusak demonstrates a newfound perspective on life and death themselves. Through strong personification of the one thing humans fear most, the reader’s perspective on death is altered to sympathy and understanding of Death himself. Death is simply a caring being, who carries with him a moral compass of which would unexpectedly be associated with someone of his caliber.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Personal Moral Compass

The morality compass I have created includes four things that make up most of my life and have the utmost importance to me. These happen to be my future, friends and family, school and education, and last but certainly not least change. All of these contribute greatly to make up my life as a whole. They all are very crucial in the maintaining of my success and happiness.
At the very top of my compass is a simple but powerful component- my future. It is composed of simply two words that can bring with them so much room for curiosity, potential, and preparation. My future to me means endless possibilities. I organized for this to be at the very top and center of the compass because everything that I currently do in the present day is to set myself into a position of which is conducive to success in the future. I take many steps to ensure a great future for myself and never let the goal slip my mind. However, I always find myself stuck, wondering, what will I turn out to be? Will I accomplish what I am intending to or something even bigger? The future holds within it endless pathways and decisions which can either lift you to ultimate success and happiness or in the blink of an eye shatter your dreams right before you.
Another topic of importance to my life is my friends and family. This category of my life is incredibly important to me in the way in which these people have been there for me through everything. I have had the same friends since I was little and had no idea who I was, what I wanted to do with my life, but they have helped me discover that and pushed me in the direction of success and I am unable to describe to them how thankful I am for their help. My parents always nag me about grades and college and athletics but I know it’s for my benefit so I try not to protest and instead be thankful that they care and want to see me succeed and do great things. They are a crucial piece in the puzzle of my future because without them it wouldn’t be complete and nothing would be in its right place. I know they will stay with me and be there throughout my future guiding me the right direction.
Now when I say this it may sound like I am describing myself as a nerd, but schooling and education are of so much importance to me. My life revolves around getting an education to therefore succeed in the future in college and then beyond. Like I said everything I do now I do it for my future and almost all of that preparation involves education. Since I was little my parents have stressed the importance of education in life because their parents never stopped them and made them finish their homework or made them sign up for SAT’s or visit colleges with the sincere intent on attending a four -year school. My parents now regret not seeking the education they needed to become successful and be ultimately happy in life and they want more out of life for me. They don’t want me to follow in their shoes and be unsatisfied with my job and financial situation because believe it or not, that throws everything else in life out of whack too. They strive to prepare me for success and a happy life and to get more out of my time then they did theirs. The fact that they never had a parent there pushing them to do well in school and other activities hurt them a lot in the long run so now they make sure to bother me about homework or get on me about test grades or tell me what I could’ve done better in my game that day. I minded it a lot when I was younger but now I don’t because I realize they only want to ensure the best for me.
Lastly, I value change in my life. I am an extremely firm believer in learning from your mistakes and having an open mind to a changing environment. I like when change occurs around me because I feel it is important for humans to exercise their abilities to adapt to changing environments. I want to view the world around me with a mind open to endless possibilities and travel to places I never been before, adjusting to new cultures, languages, and ways of life. I believe change is important for everyone to expose themselves to and I value my own personal exposure to it on a daily basis. That is why it is of such importance to me to appear on my moral compass.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What is Morality?

Morality is one's ultimate system of believe. It is the path that you follow within your everyday life, the basis for all the decisions you make and the motivation for the reason you do every thing you do. Morality is what one personally believes is right and wrong, what one believes is acceptable and nonacceptable, and what one considers a good deed versus a bad one. Everyone is different, some more optimistic and cautious, some more fearless and objectory; however, no matter which way you look at it, morality is an extremely important component to life itself and gives reason to the psychology behind why we, as humans, do what we do throughout our entire lives.