So I was a bit groggy after just barely waking up for advisory and then laying in bed until English started. I was hoping for a relaxing start to my day as I didn’t get much sleep, but instead here comes Mr. Heidkamp wearing a crazy hat and talking about the meaning of life. That was definitely not how I expected to start my Wednesday. Throughout my time reading the stranger so far, I’ve been frustrated by lack of plot, the attitude of Meursault, and the general social commentary style of the book. I knew this was coming though and I expected discussions going forward to be more about the meaning of the book than the book itself. When listening to the lecture, I began drifting a bit into my own thoughts about the true purpose of life. That was until I basically heard Mr. Heidkamp say life doesn’t matter after spending 20 minutes discussing the many various meanings. This is when I got upset. I simply just don’t agree with that lecture or the meaning of this book. In my perspective, life is what you make it. If you spend time thinking about life and what it means, you’re wasting time you can spend figuring out what it means to YOU. Life is not the same for everyone. Every single person will have a slightly varied meaning of life. But why spend time trying to think of that meaning when you can just live. I believe that thinking about what life means is a complete and utter waste of time. You’re never going to truly understand life. So why not just live it instead?
The idea of mutual recognition is pretty much a dream if we’re being honest. Can anyone actually imagine a world where we avoid conflict and there’s no fighting for power? Because I definitely can’t. Jessica Benjamin’s ideas are incredible. They are truly valuable ideas that would help our society immensely. Everyone would be happier and there would be a focus on truly learning about people and taking them for who they are and what they stand for. But could that ever happen? Our society is centered around power and the dynamics of war, fighting, and conflict when we should be focusing on things like mutual recognition. Thinking about this reminded me of a practice AP test last year about the business of war and violence. The backbone of the United States is conflict, and while it would be nice to move away from conflict, I don’t see it happening. The ideas Jessica Benjamin conveys are awesome, but for change to occur they have to taken in small doses. Moving towards a less conflict focused society will take a long time, but could ultimately contribute to making the world a happier place.
At first, the story was really disturbing and confusing. There was no set up context, so the story just jumped in without explaining anything about where they were, what was happening, and why it was that way. The nature of the story was like understand as you go and it connected the dots as you continued to read it. One of the most powerful sections to me was the comparison to the head of spider, which connected the name to the story. The line was, “Control being like the head of a spider. With its various legs being our Workrooms” (55). The story evolves over time and becomes more understandable as it goes.