Sunday, February 28, 2010

observations on a recurrent theme

After English class the other day, as I was copying down some quotes I'd enjoyed from Mrs. Dalloway into my journal, something suddenly dawned on me.

This "disillusionment" we refer to (and have been the past several years) when discussing the modernists...we often brush it aside as some sort of negative viewpoint, an unfortunate result of World War I, etc. And true, it isn't exactly positive. But disillusionment in itself holds an an incredible amount of truth.

The dictionary definition:
"The act of freeing from an illusion, or the state of being freed therefrom."

How interesting. The definition is clearly not pessimistic; in fact, it is quite.. positive. To be "freed." And yet, without saying so, in our discussions, we often paint "disillusionment" in a negative light. We seem to categorize it as the equivalent of "depressed." And yes, they have similarities and overlap...but you cannot see it solely in this way.

The "disillusioned" see the truth. But it is this immense clarity that has "depressed" them, overwhelmed them to the point they must trade their pain for numbness.

Though I plan on keeping my optimism and ideals, I think we can all learn something from the "disillusioned."

"One cannot bring children into a world like this. One cannot perpetuate suffering, or increase the breed of these lustful animals, who have no lasting emotions, but only whims and vanities, eddying them now this way, now that...human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment. They hunt in packs. Their packs scour the desert and vanish screaming into the wilderness. They desert the fallen. They are plastered over with grimaces."

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