What makes a man’s life different from the life of a wild beast is the fact that the former can learn the valuable lessons which h is being taught as the life goes on. It is not necessarily that these lessons must be the result of the man’s life, on the contrary – it is preferable that one should learn on the mistakes of the others.
This is also art that people can have valuable experience from. Learning the priceless lessons given to them by the authors of the poems, novels and movies, people understand that there are things which they have to take for granted. Not to repeat the mistakes of the others, we begin acting the way which was inspired by the authors of the pieces of art.
One of such pieces is the poem by Pablo Neruda called Morning.
Neruda managed to snatch a part of people’s life and put it into several precise and sharp lines. The perfection is what the poet tried to seize with the magic word of his, comparing the rising sun with the rising beauty of a woman. The unceasing string of comparisons is cleaving the poem, picturing the natural beauty of a woman as the beauty of the world at dawn, comparing the marvelous sight with the wonders of the nature which a man is only about to explore, and which he never will, for they are far too beautiful – and too simple and too complicated at once for the civilized mind. The world beyond the artificial is what Neruda tried to embrace, letting the readers peep at the perfection of the beauty itself. However, it is not only art for the sake of art which Neruda is pursuing in the poem. He is also trying to convey the beauty of the country which he is living in, trying to make the readers see the worthiness of the lands which they inhabit. The way Neruda makes a woman and the land some so close to each other, almost merging and fusing, is truly incredible. Perhaps, he wants to show that the earth is a woman indeed, aching of the grief which people have caused her, yet willing to warm the hearts of her own children, the people who are trampling her and feeling the warmth of her heart with their feet.
Neruda describes the beauty of the nature with all talent of his, so vivid that it calls tears to people’s eyes. The second important thing to learn from the poem is that people are all children of the earth, and thus, there is no need in tormenting the poor mother with wars and unceasing grief. It is high time to leave in peace. The earth is crying for calm life.
People’s craving for love is truly unexplainable, yet the desire to find the destined part of one’s world is the cry which can be heard in every poem veer written. The lyrical poems are so specific that one can barely touch tem, the current running down them as if they were livewires. The Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda is no exception. What is the poem speaking of? – Well, love, of course, the love everlasting and lasting only a couple of moments, t fire which is burning one’s heart down to the ground and which raises the soul to the ecstatic seventh heaven. Unlike the rest of the poets, Neruda does not try to depict his bellowed in the most impressive light, making it clear that love shines the heavenly light on the face most usual, brightening it for the fallen in love, but leaving it unchanged for the by-passers. Thus, Neruda teaches us that love, a cruel blind lady, is a magician as well, making the roses grow where only the thorns used to. The stars in the eyes of the soul mate can be invisible for the others, but the person destined can see them eve through the mist of tears. One more important thing to learn from the poem by Neruda is the idea that the tow people once fallen in love become one, creature which lives in another dimension, different from the rest of the world.
The land of a fairy tale is where love takes the two and, once united, the people in le are bound to have their hearts intertwined for the rest of their lives. The loyalty is the second important lesson which the poem teaches the audience.
Each of us has probably felt once a part of the country where he or she is living in, suffering the losses which the country did and feeling the pain which the country felt. A poet and a patriot, Neruda was so tuned with the country of his that he could not but speak of the events which took place in there, and this resulted in a poem called Canto General. A piece of this great work called United Fruit Co. was telling the story of the famous rebel Ernesto Che Guevara and the ways in which he managed to bring the regime down and make the country breathe freely. Neruda’s poem gives sufficient food for thoughts.
Indeed, the striking talent of his has been shown in the most explicit way. However hard it was for the poet to rake over the past evens, he managed to depict the rebellion in a vivid and picturesque way. The events of the rebellion have been carved in the memory of people since. The important lesson learned from the poem is that whatever a man could feel or think about the country which he was born in, the homeland will always stay an integral part of him, his heart and soul. Whenever there is a danger crawling to approach the land of the forefathers, the call of the home will make people stand up against the enemies and fight. So bright were the invaders which brought the land down depicted that every single man reading the poem felt that he needs to protect the country from the aggressors. The second important thing to draw from the poem is that there is always the way out from the situation, however desperate it could seem.
The only thing one should remember is never to give up, the fight is won only as the last foe has been brought down to his knees. This is a man’s world, after all, the world of battles and fighting for freedom and justice.
What makes people take this or that decision? What are they motivated as they make a certain step? These and some other questions are being answered in Jason Van Steenwyk’s The Anatomy of a Decision. Setting the military background and describing a typical army and its typical members, man-units, the author manages to show the importance of making a choice, and explain what makes people take certain step toward their destiny. One of the most valuable lessons which one can take from the novel is, perhaps, the one of being able to make a decision. It is all about not to hesitate when what the circumstances demand contradicts the moral norms and rules once set for a man. Following one’s own heart is more important than putting someone else’s order into practice, Steenwyk shows.
Staying a human while such is the environment that it is easier to become a beats which follows what has been ordered is the lesson which the author teaches his audience. Next to the idea of humanity lies the vision of the war. In spite of the fact that there have been a plenty of books written about the war in Iraq, and many films on the topic have been shot, none makes the war seem the way which Steenyk suggests. He must be the first who showed how useless and cruel the war was, and that the political reasons of the war had nothing to do with the noble feelings which called people to fight in the war. However sad it is to acknowledge, none of the wars was worth the lives which were spared in the battles.
Another idea of what was happening during the notorious Iraq war is represented in At Night Iraq.
Michael Bautista narrows his vision of the Iraq war to a single night, which is supposed to be a focus of what the people of Iraq are and what the life in the country is like. In contrast to the popular idea that fear and chaos are at reign in the country, with people inhabiting it being most hostile and unfriendly, Bautista shows the Iraq family which treats an American soldier as a guest. The members of the family shatter the man’s idea of what the people of Iraq are and what the purpose of the war is.
The war itself loses the very idea, since the people whom the soldiers are fighting wit seem nothing in common with the image of a daring rebel created by God only knows whom and existing God only knows why in the minds of the soldiers who were fighting with the Iraq army. One of the things which the story teaches the readers is the idea that the war itself is useless, since it is unnatural for people to kill each other. The molecules which the mankind is made of are all the same and thus the people who spare their lives killing each other are actually doing the things which contradict their own nature. However, the people who started war do not care about such trifle – this is the profit which pushes them to the further military actions. One more social lesson to learn from the novel is the different traditions and customs of various nations. What passes for god manners in the United States might be considered rudeness in the eastern countries, and vice versa.
The culture clash is often the root of the problems which emerge in the process of different nations socializing. It is necessary to take into consideration the customs of the country which one is talking to, especially if the situation is far from being non-confrontational. In cases of conflict, there is nothing worse than ignoring the cultural values of the opponent country. Tolerance must be the principle of a dialogue between nations.
Because of the misunderstandings constantly arising between people, the world seems such a lost place, with all misconceptions messed into a single mass which people are doomed to entangle till the rest of their lives.
However, perhaps this is the very thing which makes people’s life so intriguing. Describing the lives of a bunch of people, the movie itself is a block of flats where different people live their own lives, and watching the movie reminds of peeping in the windows of this block, watching secretly the lives of all these people. Different scenes of Los Angeles life, starting from an ordinary family where a district attorney is trying to come to terms with his irritated wife, tired of constant conflicts, creates an image of a typical white collar, up to the scourges of society trying to make their profit stealing cars and selling them to the same mishaps of people as they are. One of the core issues of the movie, the social aspect which is naturally haunting the movie, is the idea that all these social layers are interwoven into a solid life pattern. Without a single element of the chain, however minor it could seem, the whole construction is brought down. The life of every singe human being is priceless; it is to be appreciated more than the riches of the world taken all together. Only understanding this idea, one can become a decent part of the society.
All the problems starting from divorces and ending with wars and catastrophes are the result of this simple truth unaccepted by some people. Another important thing to learn from the film is that the situation still can be handled. While a man has the wish and the power to change, the chances are not lost yet. Staying humane when the environment is far from being peaceful and unclouded is the idea of the movie which one should understand and take into the life pattern. Unless people find a place in their hearts for the ones surrounding them, the problems haunting the society will remain in their places.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the postulates of humanity which people are told from the pages of books and the screens of their TV-sets are not to be ignored and neglected. Each of them is a peace of wisdom which people need so much in our times. When everything around is a mess, the presence of some moral guidelines is vital, and the literature and movies are the sources which people can take the ideas from. The wisdom which the authors speak to the grateful audience is the core of the peaceful environment which people are craving for.
Whatever the troubles pouring on the people might be, the need to stay humane and susceptible to the feelings of the others. Society has always been haunted by numerous problems. As Crabb noticed, “It requires little insight to conclude that something is wrong with people. The human machine has got its wires crossed somewhere.” (78) However, it is up to people to make a change to the world and turn it into a place where every single man can feel free and happy. In spite of the fact that this might seem another utopia, the idea of the relationship based on a humane approach and the trust in people is better than leading constant was, either explicit or hidden, conflicts brewing within the society. With such approach, the hope that the world will change for better seems no longer a mirage.
Turning into a goal, though distant yet quite possible to achieve the idea of common well-being and the environment free of wars and confrontations becomes another stage of the mankind’s development. What people are to do now is to try to achieve this stage. The lessons learnt from the work of the great will be of great use on the way to perfection.
Crabb, Lawrence and Larry Crabb. Understanding People: Deep Longings for Relationship. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1987.