Do chemistry students think differently?

timg

Chemistry is a common discipline among the contemporary students. You really cannot succeed without appreciating the fundamental concepts of chemistry. However, it appears to be one of the top courses people hate. This result confuses chemistry students a lot. We like chemistry very much, we find it practical in life, and we try hard to defend its popularity. The first thing to do is to change how people view about the discipline, and this requires teaching them to know chemistry well. So, a notable question arises: Do students in chemistry major have different mindsets from those who are not?

First thing that pops up is the stereotype. Chemistry is just a natural science, but pretty much a physics and biology, chemistry is viewed as supernatural in the general population. Consequently, students who do explicit work on chemistry will be referred as “genius”, and some of my friends do say this word to me. This word, as it looks shiny, creates an unnecessary cognitive barrier for non-chemistry students. These people will be prone to giving up studying chemistry. Once, a friend who is in economics major asked me about problems in general organic chemistry. She was stumbled upon drawing constitutional isomers for hexane, and put much anger in the problem’s worthlessness. As I helped her figuring out this question, she sighed, “Everybody hates organic chemistry, how could you even learn this delightfully?” My answer is quite short for this serious issue. Chemistry is very conventional, and I like to explore those conventions.

Indeed, chemistry is very attractive for us because it simply reveals laws of matters, but the deeper cut stuff is the many baffling glossaries. You have to remember a lot of words before doing things for chemistry, and it costs time. Not to mention about remembering the names for elements and compounds, but many subcategories, such as atomic theory, stoichiometry, electrochemistry, inorganic, organic, all have their own languages. Chemistry students have sensed the difficulty like everyone else, but they rather view it as a chance to prepare for their movements. Nature renders us various substances, and we need to explore their properties and reactions from understanding certain explanations, and chemistry does these things. Chemistry accounts for the fact that when freon evaporates from liquid state, it absorbs much heat from the surroundings. So, it was used as a coolant. However, as scientists found out freon’s damage for the ozone layers, a new call for a environmentally-friendly coolant comes in. For something to be a coolant, it needs, for example, to absorb heat when evaporate, like what freon does. From learning specific examples, we can make generalization about certain principles, and these general rules get into other examples that can have potential benefits for the society.

Anyhow, chemistry students do have different perspectives for chemistry. In contrast to traeating it as a courseload, chemistry students regard chemistry as a toolkit for them to change something. It is true that chemistry requires a distinct methodology of dealing with problems. That methodology, in turn, affects chemistry students’ mode of seeing the world. This world view, when visualized by their actions, can be sheer bizzard occasionally. But if you scan those stuents’ brains, the signal patterns they reveal, and the biomolecular processes inside every neuron, are quite much the same as other people.

Advertisements
Image

Project of Albert Camus’ The Plague

Above is our masterpiece!

(We received the project assignment at the right beginning of the new semester. This project instructed students to interpret one of the four levels operated in Albert Camus’ The Plague: Literal, political, metaphysical, and existential. We chose metaphysical. Through a week’s work for it, we accomplished an artwork. Here’s our project reflection, and two corresponding quotes that help us create our painting.)

Part 1: Reflection of The Plague Abstraction Project

Literary ideas could be simply expressed using abstract objects, such as the different levels of thoughts made in The Plague. This book operates on four lens: literal, political, metaphysical, and existential, each of which could be interpreted using different viewpoints. We selected metaphysical level to create our abstract work through the project.

This process took us about half a day to accomplish our goals. First, we brainstormed about the structure of this artwork and its corresponding properties, like colors, shapes, and some highlighted objects. Then we bought the required materials: a piece of A3 paper, pigments, water, and a paint brush. While three other students of our group have done the purchasing or explaining the ideas behind our creation, Blake worked for painting and finished it before school.

The artwork we created so far was revolved around the metaphysical lens that generally emphasizes the presence of evilness and people’s reactions toward it. Therefore, through this understanding, we attempted to create a scene that there was a red bloody background – symbolizing the deaths in The Plague – and a bar that represents Oran’s isolation. Within the bar exists a black solid circle, which is the plague itself, accompanied by various things that stretch out of the circle symbolizing different people’s reactions.

In my opinion, our portrait of this lens was successful in capturing the metaphysical lens through the coloring, shaping, and highlighting of this artwork. We could envision many different reactions in respect to the plague simply through the objects themselves. Besides the red background and the bars, the gloomy color tone also makes the audience aware that the plague puts the entire town into distress. However, since most of our objects that are attached to the black circle were based upon the main characters, our work could also be misinterpreted as portraying literal lens of the novel.

Nevertheless, I gained deeper understanding about different ways to view the novel The Plague. Instead of focusing on the written texts, I tried to convert the main ideas expressed in this novel into a simpler, abstract painting. Through the project, therefore, I knew to make what seemed complex into a vivid imagery. Moreover, I got to appreciate other groups’ works, and understood that there were other lens successfully portrayed in their paintings. Their works gave me insights about expressing different levels of meanings through abstraction.

Part 2: Analysis of quotes from The Plague in metaphysical level

Quote: Generally speaking, they did not lack courage, bandied more jokes than lamentations, and made a show of accepting cheerfully unpleasantnesses that obviously could be only passing. In short, they kept up appearances. (Part 2, Chapter 10)

Analysis: While the plague is expected to put the whole town into silence and fear, there are certain citizens who, surprisingly, would express their feelings in an extreme way. Instead of focusing on the plague, they seem to be indifferent toward its existence, pretend to continue normal lifestyles, and even accept the truth. This absurdity of actions makes us aware that different people conceptualize the world in different aspects, and thus behave distinctively to the society they perceive. They surely are the observers of this entire catastrophe, but they have different perspectives about it.

Quote: Rambert said he’d thought it over very carefully, and his views hadn’t changed, but if he went away, he would feel ashamed of himself, and that would embarrass his relations with the woman he loved. Showing more animation, Rieux told him that was sheer nonsense; there was nothing shameful in preferring happiness. (Part 4, Chapter 20)

Analysis: Confronting this plague, people may differ in their reactions throughout the passage of time. Rambert, though occasionally attempts to escape the town to seek his wife, changes his decisions through the impact of Rieux. The dynamism of his changing actions imply the transformation of his original viewpoints about the plague and the isolation of Oran. The interaction between the two characters also illustrates that in the face of evilness, they both decide to fight against the plague, though Rieux regards it as a necessary duty, while Rambert does this job through a moral conflict between rightness and wrongness.

The Interpretation of Dreams Journal 7

In the book “The Interpretation of Dream”, Freud puts forward his theory that the dream is the fulfillment of unconscious wishes, and he elaborately introduces the process of how unconscious wishes are concealed and how they endeavor to break through the consciousness: On its way to consciousness along the path of the thought processes, the unconscious wish is always distorted by the censorship, which transfers it into a recent material, and thus appears unrecognizable to us. Its further progress is then checked by the state of sleep of the preconscious, a system protects the unconscious wish from the diminishing excitations. Therefore, the dream process of regression takes place in the sleeping state and in so doing acquires representability.

While other writers attribute the occurrence of the forgetting of dreams to the mutually alien character of the waking and sleeping states, Freud believes that it’s dream-censorship that makes people forget about some parts of dreams, a way of resistance to the penetration of the dream-thoughts into consciousness. Upon this situation, Freud suggests that we direct our attention to a single element of the dream and find out the involuntary thoughts associated with this element. After we repeatedly do the same process with different component of the dream-content, we will finally come upon the dream-thoughts from which the dream originated. In other words, we should open a new path in our waking state and, along this path, run back from the dream-elements to the dream-thoughts instead of completely focusing on the interpretation-work of nocturnal dreams.

Before the explanation of regression, it’s important to first look at Freud’s interpretation of “psychic apparatus”, which he considers as a compound instrument containing two “systems” – the initial system receives stimulus of perception but retains no memory, while the second system lied behind the initial system transforms the temporary stimulus of the first into lasting traces. According to this structure, because thought-relations are contained in the second system, where they forfeit expression in the regression to the perceptual images, all those thought-relations of the dream-thoughts either lost in the dream-work or have difficulty in achieving expression. Freud conclude this phenomenon of regression as “the structure of the dream-thoughts breaking up into its raw material.”(Chapter 7, P277) At the end of this section, Freud puts forward a much more significant theory upon the regression, saying that we can have insight not only into the phylogenetic childhood but even into the evolution of the human race because dreaming is on the whole an act of regression to the earliest childhood.

Because the nocturnal thought-process stops working during sleeping in order to let preconsciousness have some rest, Freud assumes that the sensory surface of consciousness, which is turned toward the preconscious, is far more difficult to be excited than the sensory surface turning toward the perception in the sleeping state. However, dreams have a waking effect that can stimulate parts of the quiescent energy of the preconscious. Under the influence from this energy, dreams experience “secondary elaboration”, which patches together fragments from materials that seem to be contradictory in order to further disguise the unconscious wishes, just like piecing the cine film together. The absurd dreams, so frequently mentioned by Freud, also experience this secondary elaboration.

Negating the commonly held opinion that consciousness is the general basis in the course of psychic events, Freud considers unconscious as true psychic reality, comparing the unconscious to a larger circle including the smaller circle of consciousness. In addition, although most psychologists think that there are two kinds of unconscious, Freud maintains that one of them is the “unconscious”, which can not turn to the consciousness, and another one is “preconscious”, capable of reaching consciousness after passing through the censorship. Freud also vividly describes preconscious as a screen between the consciousness and the unconscious. Based on the knowledge I learn in class and the analysis in this book, I agree with Freud’s opinion concerning the relationship and the distinction between consciousness and the unconscious. The process such as the regulation of blood pressure works without our awareness, and it must be the unconscious. But sometimes, memory accessible to consciousness only after something calls my attention. For example, I can only remember my experience during childhood until my parents mention the details. According to Freud, those memories that I can only recall with stimulus must be preconscious.

 

References

Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature

The Interpretation of Dreams Journal 6

As to Freud’s thoughts, the dream content has a lot of backstories to tell about: “It would of course be incorrect to attempt to read these symbols in accordance with their values as pictures, instead of in accordance with their meaning as symbols.” (Chapter 6, P121) And there exists dream-work that makes the dreamer’s subconscious latent. Virtually, this work comes into two parts: condensation and displacement. Condensation means that even a single fragment of the dream has more than one thought about the dreamer, and the various thoughts attach to it. On the other hand, displacement transfer the dreamer’s thoughts about certain subject to another one, for the purpose of escaping from censorship. Moreover, symbolism also connects certain objects to other meanings. To address the mechanism of dream-work, Freud proposes some types of dreams, of which there are three major subcategories: arithmetic, speech and absurd dreams.

For the arithmetic dream, Freud says that “What the dream-work consists in, and its unceremonious handling of its material, the dream-thoughts, may be shown in an instructive manner by the numbers and calculations which occur in dreams.” (Chapter 6, P198) He points out that the digits are representative of the dream-work that makes something obvious unexplainable. Still, these numbers are not nonsensical, but possess certain traits the dreamers are await. Freud exemplifies this principle through a typical dream: The dreamer perceives himself as a policeman with a mission, and he sees his supervisor has an armlet with number 22 and 62. In fact, the dream is a high class general, with the same number on the armlet, but he wishes to get higher to be a supervisor. Through further investigation, Freud knows he only serves for 22 years, and two years plus two months are needed to get a satisfactory retirement pay. If he does so, he can get all the payment, just like his colleague, who retires in age 62 recently. Therefore, it is still that the dream subconsciously has the wish to be at a higher position as well as that of getting more money, and Freud’s account of the nature of dream is thought to be feasible.

I also have a dream about arithmetic: When I am traveling in a forest with a zoologist, I sees a lot of squirrels. Suddenly, as the zoologist calls out a signal, the squirrels become obedient to him and even stand in certain locations to make the entire team looks like a number “five” in front of my eyes. If Freud’s argument is true, it should be obvious that there is a wish: I dream of becoming an expert in biology. I do like squirrels, and they never come to be so agile inside this scene. But for more things about number, I guess it conveys me information that I need to study for at least five more years to profess in this field of study.

The second typical dream Freud mentions about is speech. “No matter how many speeches and answers, which may in themselves be sensible or absurd, may occur in dreams, analysis always shows us that the dream has merely taken from the dream-thoughts fragments of speeches which have really been delivered or heard, and has dealt with them in the most arbitrary fashion.” (Chapter 6, P200) This applies to the dream-content measure mentioned in previous chapter, which explains why dreams include fragments of various events happened in the past. Freud furthers his opinion about the speech dream by pointing out another dream. In this dream, the dreamer is posited inside a big yard, where many corpses are burned. As he says, “I want to leave here, this scene is unbearable,” the butcher’s two kids appear and is asked whether the taste is good. One of them says, “No, it’s not good at all.” Supposedly, this meat comes from humans. But, as Freud explores deeper inside the dream, he discovers a context which completely alters the meaning of the dream: When he is visiting an old granny, who is not welcomed by others, with his wife, she just finishes the meal and forces him to taste her dishes. He politely rejects, with saying about his lack of appetite. But due to the granny’s urges, he tries and does feel good about the meal. However, when he is getting alone with his wife, he complains that this neighbor is too stubborn and cooks bad. Therefore, we can see that the dream really plays a magical role in carrying out the true thoughts about dreamers. Like this example, his bad feelings about the granny’s meal is transferred to the seemingly horrible content of the dream, though the words changed a little.

For me, this type of dream is rare, but I still can remember one: I works for a farm with a tool that remove the weeds. Though being tired, I still whisper to myself that working for a farm is far more “fortunate” than studying. As my cousin comes in, he says, “Your work is great, but you would rather study for a while.” This dream interesting because it provides me with confusion about my attitude toward studying. For no reason, I prefer reading books than doing farm works, and this should not be a direct wish fulfillment. However, as I start to think that maybe the word “fortunate” in Chinese is similar to “painstaking”, I recollect back some memories with my cousin that we really have great times in my hometown. But the farm works are actually tedious. But during present time, I also have gotten tired occasionally, so I transfer this feeling to the dream, with a complete change in the meaning of a word.

The last type of dream Freud talks about is of absurdness. To be more precise, it is the category that collects all the supernatural scenes into the dream-content. Even though the absurdity really intrigues a lot of thoughts about the nature of dreams, Freud still maintains his idea: “The dream-thoughts are never absurd and the dream-work produces absurd dreams, and dreams with individually absurd elements, when the dream-thoughts contain criticism, ridicule, and derision, which have to be given expression.” (Chapter 6, P215) Specifically, there is a dream Freud deals with for a patient who has a father died earlier: His father experiences a severe accident. When the train is traveling at night, it suddenly gets off the track and squishes his father’s head because the seats are distorted. Then, the dreamer discovers his father is in a bed with a clear scar. He is surprised by his father being involved inside an accident. In fact, this dream appears because of recollection about memories with his father. He asked for an artist to make a sculpture for his father, and he discovered a bust after several days when he checked the progress. Moreover, the scar inside the dream actually corresponds to his father’s frown of sadness, and as he finds out his picture, he accidentally dropped it, forming a scar piercing through his sister’s eyelids. The background for this dream seems very odd, but it still plays a major role in modulating the dream-content.

 

References

Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature

Compare and Contrast the Force from A New Hope and the Way from Taoist ideals

The Force from A New Hope and the Way in Taoism present two great distinctive beliefs. The Force, an energy field created by all li

ving things that bestows individuals with idealistic courage, surrounds and penetrates them; the Way, on the other hand, is the mysterious, unnamable process through which everything in the universe happens, teaching people to be less attentive to the glory from material world.

The Force provides people with means of completing some challenging quests that could render great results, regardless of what they have. In A New Hope, it is a natural power contrary to a more technological power the Death Star uses. To show this, the Rebels and heroes are seen in more natural settings like deserts and forests while the Empire is seen in large technological settings. As the mentor Obi-wan Kenobi always says to Luke, “May the Force be with you.”, this sentence acts as a spiritual guide to Luke’s journey and gives him determination, which is a clear distinction with Darth Vader’s emphasis on brutal destruction. For instance, when he is going for a mission to destroy the Death Star, there are many missiles from his enemies that block his way. Commonly, he is not able to handle this situation by himself, but every moment the sentence flashes back to his mind, he can pay more attention toward the mission and be less stressed. In a way, the Force goes beyond the superiority of technology and makes something impossible come true.

By contrast, the Way emphasizes more about the balance between gain and loss throughout lifetime. If people is enlightened by it, they will be guided to understand the benefits and drawbacks of certain deeds. Also, the Way reduces the distinction between different things but rather integrate them into a whole. “Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs; the sage is ruthless, and treats the people as straw dogs.” (5.1-2) Under Taoist view, all the living things are under the same world, that they should be treated equally, since their existences have certain meanings that people should not depreciate. To reinforce the idea, Daodejing points out that the Way in which stricter and stricter laws create crime and stifle a country’s productivity. As people are members of the society, they need to obey the law of nature regardless of how powerful they are. In conclusion, it is feasible to say that the Way goes beyond the superiority of rules – the confinement – and makes something absurd explicable.

Though the Force and the Way differ in many perspectives, they share the ideal intellect of having people completing certain important goals. As Luke is able to defeat dreadful enemies and finally save princess Leia and her planet behind so many challenges through the encouragement of the Force, he has to think about the negative effects about his journey, like what the Way considers. Even though A New Hope does not have any mention about the Way, it actually exists throughout the storyline: As the Death Star’s evil plan irritates the Rebels, the Force comes into action to urge the heroes wiping out the vicious authority, giving Darth Vader a painful compensation.

In general, the Force and the Way both in a degree present people’s ideals about the right behaviors, but the Force can also be seen as a metaphysical power that prompts individuals to be dedicated to their actions, while the Way puts more emphasis on the two sides of a single event, benefiting, also punishing, the person who takes part in it.

 

Works Cited

“Star Wars: A New Hope” 20th Century Fox. Washington D.C.: L. George, 1977.

“Daodejing.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. D.C. Lau. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 1347-1354. Print.

The Interpretation of Dreams Journal 5

In addition to one of the main points made by Freud which accounts for the distortion in dreams, there is another interesting idea concerning dream content: “It has at its disposal the earliest impressions of our childhood, and brings to light details from this period of life, which, again, seem trivial to us, and which in waking life were believed to have been long since forgotten.” (Chapter 5, P51) This sentence opens to a new discussion about the materials and sources of dreams in this chapter, which, basically, can be attributed to the four typical dreams Freud mentioned about.

The first typical dream is of nakedness. It is the dream common in everyone’s life that such case could lead to embarrassment. However, the dreamer, inside the dream, will not be mocked and blamed by other unfamiliar people. In fact, most of this type of dream has these strangers paying no attention to the dreamer’s embarrassing nakedness. “The substitute for these persons offered by the dream, the `number of strangers’ who take no notice of the spectacle offered them, is precisely the counter-wish to that single intimately-known person for whom the exposure was intended.” (Chapter 5, P100) As Freud said, the counter-wish signifies a kind of secret which prompts the meaning of the dream to become so vague that produces unsatisfying effects for people. Since we are born, the content of human nature is always present in our mind, but to some degree censored and suppressed as we grow up: we feel ashamed of exposing our body parts. Therefore, through this censorship, the vivid dream provides the means for the dreamer to avoid such situation in real life.

The second typical dream generally plots the death of relatives. Some portion of the dream has the dreamer does not feel so sad about this, but most of it still makes the dreamer feel deeply regretful for their relatives’ death even during real sleep. This type of dream seems to contradict the Freud’s claim that the latent content – the unconscious – plays a role in the dream’s content, since people really do not want to have their beloved persons die. But if people think of our childhood memories, they do have some uncomfortable experiences with their relatives that prompt the wish of leaving them away. Freud admits: “Many adults who today are devoted to their brothers and sisters, and support them in adversity, lived with them in almost continuous enmity during their childhood.” (Chapter 5, P103) Children always have egocentric thoughts that they consider everything surrounding them under their control. They do not have much sense about death but rather think it will not disturb other living people.

A more confusing element of the second typical dream is about the death of parents, since people tend to love their parents for their nurture. But for Freud, there is another thing needed to be brought out: “It is as though a sexual preference made itself felt at an early age, as though the boy regarded his father, and the girl her mother, as a rival in love — by whose removal he or she could but profit.” (Chapter 5, P106) Naturally, mother will be sexually attractive to son and father is sexually attractive to daughter. During childhood, for example, a son will be permitted to sleep with his mother when his “rival” – father – leaves, proving that the hostility has been testified by the sheer wish-fulfillment that inadvertently has set father dead in his dream.

Although not systematically categorized into the book, the third typical dream is added into the previous part: the dreamer flies with a feeling of ease or falls in terror. What is interesting is that it generally takes part in grown-up adults. Freud debunks other people’s theory that this type of dream is attributed to the present physical sensations while explains this dream as a kind of wish-fulfillment which is suppressed in real life. Children have been experienced in exciting rapid motion which afterwards ends with unhappiness, and as adults recollect back this memory, they are regretful for their inability to do such things again.

The last typical dream centers on examination: the dreamer fails on a test and has to study a subject again or fails to receive doctor degree. This dream is common for people who are going to take an important task such as final exam. But even for those who have already received doctor degree, they still experience this type of dream. “We dream of our matriculation, or the examination for the doctor’s degree … whenever we feel the burden of responsibility.” (Chapter 5, P116) For Freud, this can be attributed to the dreamers’ anxiety of conducting great things they feared of failure, because they are responsible for them. But as the dreamers realize they have succeeded in such tasks in reality, they feel relaxed about their testing experiences, willingly reducing the stress of doing their jobs in the future.

Compare the four types of dream, it is not difficult to find out that they both similar in the subconscious thoughts about fulfilling wishes. While the first and fourth type of dream gives the dreamer a sense of avoiding such cases in real life, the second and third type, though undesired, has its manifestation of the dreamer’s unconscious will to have their beloved persons die or move rapidly, which, as to Freud, are distorted by the strict dream-work. But still, they have common features for the dream content: “the preferential selection of recent and also of infantile material.” (Chapter 5, P82)

I often tend to have the second type of dream, which is about the death of my father. In one such a dream, my parents, after traveling, take airplane to return to Shenzhen, but the plane suddenly crashes when it is landing. As the plane incinerates, my mom successfully escapes through parachute, but my father fails to survive. After several moments, I am notified to participate in the funeral and I cries loudly with my mother. At first I could not understand why I cruelly set him to death during my dream, generally attributing this case as the manifestation of my parents’ personalities: my father being industrious but clumsy, while my mother being intelligent. (Like Homer and Marge) But deliberately, I noticed that it usually happens when my father actually stay at our city for quite long days. He is a good husband who has the will to spend time with his wife to have good experiences, and this really somewhat bothers the relationship between me and my mom. In fact, my mother fulfills my requests more often than my father does, and I am also biased to share some great experiences with her. Moreover, jealousy arises when she talks about my father’s advantages and expect me to act like him. According to Freud’s ideology, these stimuli, which could be regarded as Oedipus complex, prompt me to wish my father to receive a business and leave our city as soon as possible. If that wish comes true, I can take time to hang out with my mother.

 

References

Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature

Contrast of the Deeds and Character Traits of Beowulf and Aeneas

Beowulf and The Aeneid present two great heroes with distinctive characteristics and stories. Beowulf, disbelieving about determinism, is a brutal and arrogant warrior who kills monsters for glory without any god’s help; Aeneas, on the other hand, is a person who, called by fate, defeats enemies with supernatural aid and shows responsibility for people.

Beowulf, being regarded as a pagan, possesses pride about his glorious past as well as violence toward foes. It is not difficult to see that Beowulf challenges what he deserves to be. “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked.” (572-573) Beowulf makes this claim early in the poem when he describes his swimming contest. Though the narrator of Beowulf believes God determines everyone’s fate, Beowulf claims that if people’s fate has not been decided yet, they can succeed through sheer courageous behavior. This tenet becomes Beowulf’s path toward glory which could be illustrated by his fierce single combat against Grendel without any weapon. Actually, his courage is so strong that swords even weaken his abilities, as evidenced by Hrunting (1458) and Naegling (2680) that both render futility of battle. It is to his Scandinavian nature that Beowulf pursues for treasure as a symbol for his victory, since he realizes that death is inevitable. Therefore, any reward for him can be regarded as significant for his individual achievement. Even he perishes after fighting against the dragon, his reputation has been deeply established in his fellows’ mind.

By contrast, Aeneas is empathetic with his people and destined to accomplish many quests with the help of divinity. “I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known / Above high air of heaven by my fame, Carrying with me in my ships our gods / Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy. I look for Italy to be my fatherland, And my descent is from all-highest Jove.” (1.519-524) This is how Aeneas introduces himself to the huntress he meets in the forest of Libya. They reveal how much his mission and responsibilities make up his identity. He perceives duty as more important than his own gain: when he falls in love with Dido, he is reminded of his goal and quickly decides to leave her but continues his journey toward the revival of his followers. Although his power is finite and limited, he is able to achieve great arms from gods that propel his triumph over his opponents. Through the war against Turnus, it can be deduced that he also has the will to ask for help from other groups of people if he is not able to handle some situations by himself. Even he wins, however, Aeneas may show sympathy for his enemies and spares them when they are powerless.

Though Beowulf and Aeneas differ in many perspectives, they share the courage and wit of completing their important goals. As Beowulf is able to defeat dreadful monsters without any other people’s help and grab his treasure for his glorious commemoration, Aeneas, being blessed with his additional strength, can also walk through the dangerous adventure and reach his fulfilling accomplishment. Both Beowulf and Aeneas are great figures during their time when certain ideologies play a large role in contemporary societies, regardless of how they overcome the many challenges place in front of them.

Summing up all the points about the two heroes’ deeds and character traits, Beowulf and Aeneas both in some way present people’s ideals about great men, but the brutal and boastful Beowulf can also be seen as an individual who pursues for his own lifelong glory, while the dutiful and fateful Aeneas is more like an idol who is able to conquer the quests for his folks.

 

Works Cited

“Beowulf.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Suzanne Akbari. Third ed. Vol.B. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 112-182. Print.

“The Aeneid.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Robert Fagles. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 965-1072. Print.

The Interpretation of Dreams Journal 4

Though Freud asserts the dream is a wish-fulfilment, there are still some seemingly controversy over this argument, since not all people can perceive the wish hidden inside it. So Freud initially introduces the topic: “The anxiety-dream does really seem to preclude a generalization of the thesis … that dreams are wish-fulfilments, and even to condemn it as an absurdity.” (Chapter 4, P33) This sentence, though seems debunk Freud’s previous ideas, actually probes his innovative thought that there are some latent content of the dream remained undiscovered, disproving potential objections.

To further his opinion, he gives out his own dream as an example. In this dream, he describes his friend R., who is unable to upgrade his job because of his religious belief, as his intimate uncle and his appearance is featured with distinctiveness. But in reality, Freud’s uncle, with distinct outlook, is a poor man who is regarded as simpleton for his motivation to commit crime. Though the analyzable part of this dream is really succinct, there exists a lot of hidden information outside of consciousness. While this scheme is still unclear in respect to the interpretation because R. does not commit crime, he thinks about his friend N. who does not achieve greater title because of his criminal accusation, which is also related to religions. Eventually, this dream comes clear under Freud’s explanation: since there is a factor – religious belief – that influence the accomplishment of professorship, he dreams himself to be unaffected by it. That means, by making contrast, the dream actually forms a wish-fulfillment in which Freud himself could achieve better job than R. and N. through avoiding their disadvantages.

Looking back to this dream, there has great distortions that make it difficult to be interpreted, which as Freud proposes, is the people’s escapism of certain ideas that alters the expected content of the dream. “Wherever a wish-fulfilment is unrecognizable and disguised there must be present a tendency to defend oneself against this wish, and in consequence of this defense the wish is unable to express itself save in a distorted form.” (Chapter 4, P37) As a result, Freud links the distortions to consciousness that clearly manifest the existence of wish-fulfillment inside their mind even though it is oppressed by emotions. Furthermore, he points out there have “two psychic forces” (Chapter 4, P38) that illustrate personal attitudes toward their wishes. The first one is the content that shows wish-fulfillment, and the second one is like the trimmer of the content that distort the dream without any satisfactory aspects being added. This theory may be somewhat too metaphysical to be understood, but it improve the reliability of Freud’s claim that the seemingly painful experience of dreams is in part wish-fulfillment.

Through the analysis part of this chapter, Freud encounters a lot of individuals who discover their dreams contradict his claim but always explain some reasons for them, showing that his idea is still persuasive. These reasons include their anxiety of telling the truth, while it is to Freud’s logical deduction and imagination that propel the eureka moment of dream interpretation. “If we subject content to analysis, we become aware that the dream-anxiety is no more justified by the dream-content than the anxiety in a phobia is justified by the idea to which the phobia is attached.” (Chapter 4, P47)

I often have some difficulties with speaking clearly and fluently when I meet a stranger or need to do some important tasks. For instance, this is what I feel before going to be interviewed by a college officer to attend a summer session. At that time, I had heard Hynir, one of my best friends who shared many of my career interests, rejected by another institution. When I met with him, he said about his bad test scores and complained that the college should not care about them so much but rather focus more on his activities. I was shocked by his conversation because I also got scores that were not satisfactory. That night, I had a dream which was very frightening for me. In this dream, I saw all my classmates chasing me with anger. While I could not figure out what was going on that occasion, they yelled that I was too incompetent to even communicate with them effectively and get teacher’s appreciation, depressing their expectation.

Different from the usual dream which I had great joyful moments that really fulfill my wishes, I did not realize how this dream would mean to me. Maybe according to Freud’s opinion, this dream could have some connections with my upcoming interview and standardized test results. Since I found great similarities to Hynir, I identify with him in this dream, with the anxiety of being rejected by the college officer. On the other hand, the classmates could generally be some students wo were already been accepted by certain organizations I knew so far. Moreover, their speech, quite intimidating, warned me of my own disadvantageous situations. So there was actually a wish-fulfillment which I sought to avoid some factors such as speech-making and test scores that could partially determine whether I would be accepted.

Now I know that distortions of dream play a vital role in illustrating people’s unchangeable self-consciousness. Though these distortions are really confusing, they are widespread through humans’ feelings of anxiety. If we have better understanding of this phenomenon, just like Freud did, we could objectively face these stressful situations and come up with solutions wisely.

 

References

Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature

Effects of Numbers and Labels of Choices on People’s Purchasing Decisions

Here is a well-written psychology essay for our group project of AP Psychology. Basically, this research centered on two independent variables, and we used appropriate statistical methods to conduct our data collection and analysis. Please check out the abstract below:

The experiment studies people’s decision making under different labels and numbers of choices when they are buying products. The questionnaires simulate the situation of choosing set purchase for mobile phone fee and four types of questionnaires (cheaper and standard; standard and premium; cheaper, standard and premium; standard, premium and super-premium) and 360 in total are distributed in three locations targeting three types of people: the middle-age and elder, teenagers and official staff. The result majorly corresponds to our hypothesis: differently-designed labels can influence customers to select different choices.

Keywords: decision, label, number of choices, purchase, subliminal message

The Interpretation of Dreams Journal 2

As what I believe, dreams are some materials that are thought to be explored, and through the process, people can better know about themselves. When this comes to Freud, things get more intriguing: there exists unconsciousness which could influence the conscious mind but remains unknown. To find out the answer, Freud uses his own dream instead of others’ in order to illustrate his methods of analysis. The reason that he chooses his own dream is clear, “In my own judgment, conditions are more likely to be favorable in self-observation than in the observation of others; in any case, it is permissible to investigate how much can be accomplished in the matter of dream-interpretation by means of self-analysis.” (Chapter 2, P11) By emphasizing the importance of testing oneself, he shows that this type of analysis can successfully achieve the ultimate goal and avoid certain criticism from other people.

The dream is about an event during his wife’s birthday party, which includes Irma as a guest and also his patient. He comes to her and complains that she doesn’t follow his solution plan. Irma, in turn, tells Freud about her pain of several organs, which leads to Freud’s worry. He checks her mouth and finds a large white plot. With Freud calling Dr.M who diagnoses her pain as infection, Leopold, Freud’s friend, also comes and finds dullness in her left chest. Eventually, they discover that Irma’s pain is due to Otto’s injection.

After this dream comes into Freud’s mind, he takes the information to analyze in details. Surely, the analysis is thought to be effective and significant: “This dream has an advantage over many others. It is at once obvious to what events of the preceding day it is related, and of what subject it treats. The preliminary statement explains these matters.” (Chapter 2, P14) Besides, it is not difficult to discover that every segment of the dream has a mean, and all these parts are illustrative of his enmity toward Irma, Dr.M and Otto, as well as blames toward him for not recovering Irma.

Actually, the analysis relates something in the dream to another one in reality. For instance, Freud mixes the personality of Irma in the dream with those of other people who are more sensibly docile, illustrating his dissatisfaction toward Irma’s refusal to his therapy. Another example is that Dr.M’s ignorant attitude of Irma’s ailment and his desire to replace Dr.M with his knowledgeable friend shows his hostility toward Dr.M. Moreover, he connects the the real-world injection of propionic acid with the dream’s liqueur of fusel oil smell and Otto’s reproach on him. This makes him unconscious willingness to retaliate Otto.

Freud also refers to a lot of easily ignored details such as “my daughter’s illness, and that of a patient with the same name; the harmfulness of cocaine; the affection of my patient, who was traveling in Egypt; concern about the health of my wife; my brother, and Dr M.; my own physical troubles, and anxiety concerning my absent friend, who is suffering from suppurative rhinitis” (Chapter 2, P21). They further Freud’s analysis by pointing to his unconscious desire to manifest his concern for the health of himself and others and professional conscientiousness.

Certainly, Freud’s use of method has some reasons. In his ideology, the nature of dreams is the fulfillment of a wish, and it is necessary to use imagination to extract the reason for it from the dreams. I here come up with two examples: searching for water means the dreamer is thirsty, and feeling cold means he or she does not wear clothes. These are, of course, simple instances that are common in people’s lives. Freud’s exhaustive analysis is seen as a mean of comprehensively fathoming the relationships among different episodes of dream and reality. “Regarded in isolation, an idea may be quite insignificant, and venturesome in the extreme, but it may acquire importance from an idea which follows it; perhaps, in a certain collocation with other ideas, which may seem equally absurd, it may be capable of furnishing a very serviceable link” (Chapter 2, P11) If furthered by this idea, people could understand the entire unconscious thoughts of an individual by analyzing dreams. Also, at the beginning of this chapter, Freud insists that “the dream actually does possess a meaning, and that a scientific method of dream-interpretation is possible.” (Chapter 2, P9) Therefore, through persuasive manifestation, Freud gains the answer to the quest previously given, and his enlightening methodology is proven by his long list of reasonable inferences from the details of his dream.

 

References

Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature