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By Sam Sarafin, V Form
Reviving Ophelia’s Song
What happens to a life so battered and bruised under the gift wrap of perfection? What happens to a life
whose opportunities have been seized by another, whose ideals and self-importance are plucked out of fingertips before they even left a print? In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Ophelia is often depicted as well-composed and sophisticated. When Ophelia sings a song before her death, she can attribute the meaning of the lyrics to one feeling or event – most often, this meaning is madness or grief. While Ophelia sang this song to convey her distress, there are many hidden meanings in the lyrics. Ophelia’s song is not an expression of one event or one feeling – it is the verbalization of grief over Polonius and Hamlet and a scrutiny of Gertrude’s portrayal of love. In it, Ophelia laments about patriarchal society and the way she had been controlled and used. (more…)
By Candice Wang, VI Form
Against Birthday Celebrations
Modern individualism has fathered many cultural phenomena. As the increase in society’s productivity promotes the quality of life, unnecessary personal luxuries have become an unquestioned part of contemporary life. Among these extravagances, birthday celebrations are the most ludicrous.
Contrary to popular belief, an individual deserves no merit for his or her existence. From the moment of conception to the last breath on the deathbed, a person’s life is a pure gift, and occasionally an accidental byproduct, from actions of other people. A baby exerts little effort in its birth; it is rather a miraculous feat on the part of its mother. As humans grow up, the sun shines, the Earth turns, and the plants perform photosynthesis to keep the them alive. The family and the society are responsible for feeding education to assimilate a new person into the cultural construct. Individual personhood is no more than a reaction to the course of nature combined with environmental circumstances. In the (more…)