The main character Meursault is called an emotionally detached figure by many in Albert Camus’s The Stranger. But while reading we learn that he craves the emotion of others although he rarely feels it himself. Although he seems unmotivated through the book giving up at times, it is his unconscious brain guiding him towards making the big decisions. Which creates a relationship or sets him up with those that can award him with compassion. This common motif throughout the story silently drove and/or influenced; him to marry, become Raymonds friend, and to kill the man. In all these moments he confessed to the reader, “As always whenever I want to get rid of someone I’m not really listening to, I made it appear as if I agree. (69).” Instead of thinking of Meursault as an uncaring person, we realize he is simply unable to show compassion. But it is unspoken that he craves the very thing that he cannot possess.
This summer I started watching the Avatar the Last AirBender series, which takes place in a world where people can bend the 4 elements; water, fire, earth, and air. It follows a group of friends helping an all powerful bender, called Ang, the Avatar. This story shows the kids powerful growth and strength as individuals, and lessons about choosing your own destiny. From this series the most powerful quote I can pull is from a wise character, “it’s time to look inwards and begin asking yourself: who are you? and what do you want?”
This series shares similar overarching greater human truths with Escape From Spiderhead. That which argues that humans are innately empathetic and are against conflicting pain on another innocent human. In this story we follow a group of teens who’ve committed crimes, and are sent to a facility that unethically performs out of body tests on them. Readers find the struggle in an unequal power dynamic, of the oppressed and oppressor. While the characters struggle with their emotions and inability to inflict pain on other patients. In the end of the story where Jeff refuses to give consent to take the drug and start the trial. This scene shows your ability to choose your own destiny and that the path our basic human principles (compassion and family) that we follow unknowingly. As Jeffs suicide to escape the system, lays way to a underlying greater human truth, that humans have a inhearit deposition to follow compassion.
Similarly the actions and tests all these characters face shows us how empathy and freedom drive humans. As both these stories fight for freedom from oppression, driving a final question to question. What side of the conflict are you on, good or evil? Additionally start wondering, are you following your destiny? Or someone else’s destiney for you?
The power structure in the drug testing experimental home, as Abnesti resides as the main scientist who tries to justify his actions. Which is seen most clearly when talking to Jeff, “a few minutes of unpleasantness for Rachel, years of relief for literally tens of thousands of underloving or overloving folks.” This justification followed by his need to get these answers for science, while he takes the blame of himself and saying he wasn’t a bad person. This oppression and deception forces Jeff to say “Acknowleadge,” to become part of a inhumane experiment. As this reading goes on Jeff does have aprehensions about Abnesti as he does these horrible things. Justifying those bad actions because of their past to say everyone is bad and he deserves it. Moreover he hides behind science to create a non emoitional response to the experiment so as to collect his data. This system of opression and deception rages on until Jeff uses it against all of them breaking free.