Reading and responding essay

We are so busy becoming successful that it is easy to forget what is really important--people and relationships. There is only time to concentrate on the physical and neglect what is spiritual. And this is what Crusoe is all about. He shows us the race for things is not as important as a human voice or human companionship. What we have to strive at is to overcome the need to be in that race for things, that "obstinacy" of human frailty, that wants to eat, to swamp us, as the storm or wild animals want to consume Crusoe.

Those wild animals never did get Crusoe. He was, in fact very lucky. In Defoe's prodigal son parable, Crusoe might not have had his biological parents to come back and make amends to, but the old captain and the widow, with their unconditional goodness, make appropriate substitutions. And while Crusoe is on the island a small fortune accumulates, so he is well able to put things in order on his return. I know now that "providence" will not always be as kind to me. I may not get the chance, as Crusoe did, to make things right when I choose to.

As the writer Stephen Grellet says, I have to do it now.

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So you see, there is a lot to be learnt from Robinson Crusoe! It teaches us the basics so we do not have to spend twenty-eight years on a desert island. We learn that what really keeps us down is our human self absorption and that we have to rise above this terrible selfishness. We learn that finding the self is acknowledging our frailty and working, in spite of it, towards making our spiritual side strong.

If I realize what is important in life, I know I have learnt from Crusoe's experiences and will never have to cry "Oh had there been but one I observe that the expectation of evil is more bitter than the suffering Only after several readings of different portions of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and several attempts at drafting a different type of paper, did I finally decide upon using this particular quotation.

Four types of essay: expository, persuasive, analytical, argumentative

For me the best kind of writing is the one that does itself, and this quote is the basis for that kind of writing. All I have to do is hold the pen. My first recollection of being "locked into" fear aside from the boogey man, ghosts and witches was the first time I had to be absent from school for several days.

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I believe I was ill with a sore throat and fever. At the age of five or six, an hour often feels like a day, and a day like a week, so to be out of school for four days seemed quite a LONG time. Anyway, I remember my mother finally telling me I could go back to school the next morning. While part of me was happy and excited at the thought of seeing my friends and my teacher, the other part of me was terrified.

What if when I got to my classroom no one talked to me? What if my teacher was mad at me? What if they all made fun of me? What if I didn't know any answers?

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I would die: I just knew I would. Well, after several hours of this kind of thinking along with the escalating of fear and anxiety that accompanied it, I really didn't have to worry about school the next day; I was making myself too sick to go back! The next morning after refusing to eat breakfast which my mother said I was too excited to eat , I got dressed in my favorite outfit red corduroy pants, checkered shirt- -with solid red scarf, red socks and white sneakers , and sat on the couch-waiting for my older sister, Susan, to finish getting ready to take me to school.

The old fear-thoughts started again, and this time I had neither the comforts of my bedcovers nor of a day's respite. With that realization I threw up, all over myself and my chance to return to school. On the third morning that pattern failed. I really did recover, and my re-entry into first grade was in reality very pleasant.

My friends crowded around me; my teacher greeted me warmly; and the most negative thing that occurred was that I forgot my milk and cookie money which I was told I could bring in the next day. This memory agrees intellectually and somatically with Crusoe's above-quoted observation.

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The application of this quotation is not limited in my experience to my early youth. I have been "locked into" fear and acted in direct opposition to it many a time and more often than not been surprised and rewarded by the results. My marital separation and subsequent divorce was such an experience. At the time of my separation, my son, Terence, was five years old one of the first full-day kindergartners and my daughter, Maryellen, was two and a half a terrible toddler. While there had been arguments and cold-war silences and an ever- growing accumulation of heart hurts, major disappointments, and financial failures, there was also a desperate desire to keep the marriage together.

We sought help through our minister and a marriage counselor. After several months of couple therapy, I realized that the only recourse was an end to the marriage.

I was terrified. Wanting my freedom was one thing. Breaking up a home and taking the responsibility for raising two children alone was another. Terence became a tragic juvenile statistic and Maryellen an unwed mother at best. These were two of my more positive visions of the future. How would I support them? Would we lose the house? I thought we would drown in my inadequacy. Only through listening to my own voice, sharing with friends and family and accepting their help and guidance was I able to act on what I knew to be the best for me, my children and even for my ex-husband.

The night he came and packed his clothes to move into his parent's home came and went. I remember sitting on my couch after he had left with his father, saying to myself, "so this is it. Two children and seven years later, this is it. I can suggest the significance of my loss of Billy by saying that the only time I noticed he was gone was when I set one less place at the supper table.

In fact, life without Billy was delightfully unrestrained. We all ate together no more arguments across the table ; I had no more five-thirty deadlines; the bills were paid unlike before ; and there was much more laughter in our house. I joined Terence in attending school.

I began taking college courses at Kingsborough with Maryellen attending the daycare center there. And even surviving turned out to flow more easily than I had feared. I was able to keep the house through financial help from friends. The kids saw their father on weekends much like before , and I was able to fill my time with my own pleasures. My decision to end my marriage opened the door for the life I enjoy today. Fear, or the expectation of failure or defeat does not guarantee its own fruition; non-action, tunnel vision, loss of choices or options do.

The worst kind of decision is one made by indecision. Where there is faith, choice or hope, there is an alternative. Although an acceptance of the randomness of life may seem somewhat frightening at first, with all it portends for the futility of human planning. I think the opposite case is more frightening still. Personally I would hate to think that the sequence of events that have led me to the current state have happened by design. That, trust me, is the truly frightening thought. Sterne highlights the theme of the randomness of life by exposing the ridiculous extent to which events can be linked by cause and effect. For example, the flattening of Tristram's nose can be traced back in an almost straight line from the end of Dr.

Slop's forceps to the marriage articles between Mr. The articles stated that Mrs. Shandy should be permitted, when pregnant, to lay in if she chose in London. This right, however, would become void if she should cause Mr. Shandy to go to the expense of a journey to London without her being pregnant. Unfortunately she takes such a trip and, as a result, is obliged to lay in at home during her pregnancy with Tristram. When her time comes, Dr.

Paragraph 2 (of 3): ANALYZE. See pages 5 – 7.

Slop is called in and, consequently, Tristram's nose becomes caught in the doctor's forceps and is flattened. Tristram, therefore, sees the weight of the marriage articles as falling directly upon him. This judgment may appear absurd as the connection between the articles and the nose is somewhat tenuous, but I can understand it.

My very existence can be traced to a no less tenuous circumstance. It seems my parents met during the summer at the beach. What if it had rained that day? What If my father had gone to another beach? It would seem that my presence on the planet can be accounted for by the lack of rain on a summer day some thirty-odd years ago and on the result of a debate among my father's friends on the relative merits of Coney Island and Riis Park.

Before I let the topic of noses get away, I would like to say something on the subject. I have a bump on my nose. I suppose I noticed it as long as 10 years ago although it is only in the past five years or so that I have become truly conscious of its existence. My father has recently taken an interest and has asked me what object did I walk into or have fall upon the bridge of my nose to account for the presence of so pronounced a bump.