Sunday, January 20, 2013

Door to the Self

I tried to imagine myself being in Rachel's shoes. What if it were me on that ship surrounded by people I do not know with no way to escape; people who seem to live in a world that is different than mine.

The only way I could relate is every morning and afternoon that I take the 1 train to get to class. Every morning and every afternoon, I ride the subway with different people; I see faces that I do not recognize and people I will never see again (with the exception of a one or two recognizable faces that take the train at the same time as me every morning).

Being surrounded by strangers, I never feel the need to strike up a conversation with any of them because I know that I will never see them again. So, there is no point in learning about their lives and their personalities. But, what if something were to happen to the train, and I was stuck with them for days awaiting rescue? If that happened, I'd be forced to talk to them and learn of their lives and personality. I might like some and I might dislike others. Either way, I imagine I will still feel alone even though I am with people in the same situation as me. If I opened myself up to the people around me, perhaphs I will arrive at the same conclusion as Rachel.  Just as she had done with Richard Dalloway and Clarissa Dalloway, she eventually found out that she opened not only her emotions to others but her mind was opened to whole new experiences; experiences that allowed for her to learn more about herself, her desires (both mental and sexual), as well as the acceptance of more possibilities where she can be her own self regardless of the views of others.

Especially in Rachel's case, her relations with others causes her to see herself in a light that shows she is not as educated as others (in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Dalloway having read books Rachel has never heard of). The more she entangles herself with others, she comes to learn more about her own Self.

I think it is part of being human that people are scared to open up to others; in fear of finding that our own self is lacking in relation to another. It takes courage to open a door and even more courage to keep it open and learn more about the self and others (just as I hope Rachel will continue to do).

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