While reading Exit West, I was able to form a solid connection to the strange doors that led to new and unexpected places. I read through the novel and I came across the doors and immediately began thinking. As my brain was processing the specified thoughts of magical doors, it hit me. In the first Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), Harry and Ron are making their way to the train station for their very first day of school in the wizard world. They finally reach the checkpoint which is simply a plain brick wall in the middle of the train station. They then are told to run into the brick wall as fast as they can to surpass into the wizard world. This brick wall serves as a portal to the kids on their journey. The same situation dwelled in my thoughts when Hamid wrote, “…But approached the door, and drawing close she was struck by its darkness, its opacity, the way that it did not reveal what was on the other side, and also did not reflect what was on this side, and so felt equally like a beginning and an end” (103). People migrating through the magic doors associates a similar contrast with Harry and Ron running through the magic wall. They all put themselves at slight risk to reach what they thought was the beginning.
I always look forward to sitting through English class with Mr. Heidkamp in the AM of every A day because its practically my first class considering I have gym 1st period. Even 2 days back when I woke up from a late night sleep with my eyes half open and Mr. Heidkamp started speaking what I thought was Chinese. No of course he wasn’t actually speaking Chinese but he was definitely spitting out some knowledge to us youngsters. I feel this lecture given by Mr. Heidkamp resembles an old Gandalf the grey revealing his magical secrets to his fellow hobbits. Not only do I mention this resemblance because of the funky hat but because of what was being discussed. Mr. Heidkamp reviewed the term existentialism which I had never heard before and I guarantee I wasn’t the only one. He then thoroughly discussed multiple meanings of life that tie in with existentialism. I for one completely disagree with the theory. I don’t believe life is just one big simulation created by the society we live in. The decisions you make in your life shape the type of person you are, life is what you make it. Everyone in this world is different from each other, everyone carries a different mindset, everyone makes their own decisions. If life is just one big simulation then it doesn’t bother me because in my eyes I’m living in my world, I’m living my life, controlling my own destiny,
In the story “A Conversation About Bread”, by Nafissa Thomson-Spires, two young black men by the names of Brian and Eldwin, are studying anthropology. In their grad program Brian and Eldwin felt out of place, they were 2 ‘unicorns’ among a pack of horses. It is outrageous that Brian and Eldwin have to feel so out of place just because of their race, in an environment where they are trying to learn and become better.
Similarly in the NBA lockout, race played its toll when a dilemma sparked between 2 sides, the 100 percent white ownership, and the players union that is 85 percent black. During the 2011 NBA season 22 of the 30 teams lost money so NBA players argued salaries were not high enough and other problems piled on. NBA players were not going to put their body on the line for entertainment purposes while the owners upstairs were making double their salary. So in an effort to break the impasse and start the season, the dispute reached a more complicated and sensitive disagreement when the race factor began to situate itself. These players felt out of place at their job, they didn’t even want to step on the court and play basketball because they felt controlled, they felt like they had no say.
In the short story Escape From Spiderhead by George Saunders, there is 2 prisoners with a criminal past. Nearing the end of the story the main character Jeff was in a tricky position as his friend Rachel was on the death block. Earlier in the story Jeff had already been forced to watch Heather take her own life and in the text Jeff reflected upon how emotional and gruesome the feeling really is, “It was like all I had to do to be a killer again was sit there and wait,”(76). While sitting there Jeff realized there had to be something he could do, so he saved Rachel by switching the Darkenfloxx into his own MobiPak. Despite Jeff’s killer tendencies he still had a soul ripe enough to save Rachel as he did not want to watch her die. Abnesti, the one who has forced this cruel pain upon them was enjoying his dominance as he looked over Jeff and Rachel. Although Jeff is viewed as a bad person, a criminal who was in prison this does not make Abnesti the ‘good guy’ in the story. Abnesti tried to convince all the prisoners he was doing the right thing but he made sure they were suffering as he looked over them. Abnesti’s respect for the prisoners was completely absent since he was unable to view them as human beings.