A Domain of One’s Own

Need to find something?  Just Google it.  Since its introduction to the public, going on the Internet has become synonymous with answers.  If we need something, we know that we don’t have to look through many heavy tomes to find what we’re looking for.

Pic creds to cvrcak1 on Flickr.
Pic creds to cvrcak1 on Flickr.

On passing whims, I tend to look up a lot of things and distract myself from what I’m actually doing (which is usually homework).  I think it’s really hard though, when one link seems to lead to another and to another.  By the time I reach the end of the line, I sometimes realize that I have spent hours surfing the Net and doing none of my homework!

Though it’s a great distraction, the Internet is something I wouldn’t choose to be apart from.  Yes the computer is bad for your eyes and yes it probably gives you cancer in some way, shape or form, but I get so frustrated when I can’t figure out the name of an obscure song that the minute I can, I try to look it up by using the one or two lines that I remember.  To me, solving these small, burning curiosities is one thing I’d keep the Internet around for.

To many people, the Internet is a form of self-discovery.  Among our chief pursuits on the Internet is an answer to the question: “What is our purpose in life?”  Well that’s no easy question, but maybe we can get started with a quiz from Quibblo, right?  The speed with which the Internet puts us in touch with the things we like, events, movies, and songs, can help us solidify our sense of self.  Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest help us share ideas and stay in touch with friends and family, distant and close.  Most of all, sites like DeviantArt and YouTube promote creativity, giving it a platform on which to present itself and perform/ make art happen.  The best examples of the growth that people undergo on these sites is best noticed by scrolling through the gallery page of DeviantArt artists or watching a bunch of YouTube videos by one person. It’s amazing watching someone’s artwork and style evolve over the years.  Similarly, old Youtube videos reveal different people at different times in their lives.  As time lapsed, the people changed as well, creating a small timeline for that person’s personality.  As we do with most things, we approach the Internet: wide-eyed, seeking answers.

Link to cvrcak1’s work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29320956@N03/

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A Domain of One’s Own

The Scarlet Number

How does community affect an individual’s ability to express his or her self?

First, picture a small, 17th century settlement on the northeastern coast of the United States.  To say that this community is a budding new nation is a laughable notion; it is merely the trans-Atlantic outskirts of Europe, barely qualifying as the edge of civilization.  The Puritans, having traveled too far from mother England to take much with them, built a village from scratch and are going about their everyday lives: the men are working out in the field, the women are cooking and doing other household chores and the children are helping out with whatever they can.  Daily routine is the same each day: wake up, work (attend church if it is Sunday), sleep, and repeat.  The air is salty and reeks of the overbearing smell of fish and seaweed, the people are austere and plainly dressed, and the wind as cold and unforgiving as the law of the land.  A lone woman walks throughout town, attracting sidelong glances from all, young and old.  Hester Prynne, with her red “A” emblazoned on her dress, is no rare sight in town, but the townspeople part for her as if her sin were contagious.

What does Hester Prynne’s tale, as captured in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, have to do with one’s self-expression?  Perhaps, an even better question, universally championed by students, to ask is: why does it even matter?   Continue reading “The Scarlet Number”

The Scarlet Number