ESSAY 1: Making Connections Through Narratives

ESSAY 1: Making Connections Through Narratives

Socrates in his second speech to Phaedrus says that human love is a kind of madness. He argues that the mad lover is more preferable than a sane lover, because passionate love or Eros is a “gift of the gods.” Socrates later explains to Phaedrus how this experience of passionate love allows one to experience the existence of his/her soul.

And I must say that this saying is not true, which teaches that when a lover is at hand the non-lover should be more favored, because the lover is insane, and the other sane. For if it were a simple fact that insanity is an evil, the saying would be true; but in reality, the greatest of blessings come to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods. For the prophetess at Delphi and the priestesses at Dodona when they have been mad have conferred many splendid benefits upon Greece both in private and in public affairs, but few or none when they have been in their right minds; and if we should speak of the Sibyl and all the others who by prophetic inspiration have foretold many things to many persons and thereby made them fortunate afterwards, anyone can see that we should speak a long time. And it is worthwhile to adduce also the fact that those men of old who invented names thought that madness was neither shameful nor disgraceful; (Plato, Phaedrus 244a-c)

In this essay, you are required to reflect on a past, life changing event that has defined the way you think of love. The event that you choose to write about can be traumatic event in your life such as divorce, growing up in a foster home, experiencing the lost of a loved one, having a parent who was unable to show love, or growing up as an only child. You could also choose less significant events that are everyone’s common experiences, such as your first date, your first relationship, or having your first child as topic for this essay.

You are required to narrate your experience, analyze the experience, reflect and draw some significant conclusions based of your narrative to help your readers understand your perception of love in human relationships. Your conclusion and analysis must allow your readers to experience a new landscape, reality, or insight that challenges their common perception of love.

Here are some examples of some analysis and significant conclusions on love written by various authors:

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision: You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement. It is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being ‘in love,’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being ‘in love’ has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those who truly love have roots that grow toward each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.” (Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin)

“Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of color in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play — it is on things like these that our lives depend.”

“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on Earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.” (Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist)

“Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven…”(Victor Hugo, Les Miserables)

You are required to write a 2-draft essay. Each draft must have a minimum of 700 words and must be presented in a double-spaced 12 points Times Roman font.

RHETORICAL DECISIONS:

a. Purpose:

b. Audience:

c. Occasion:

d. Genre:

PRE-WRITING PROCESS

a. State the event/events that you intend to write about:

b. Map/ Brainstorm the details:

c. Develop a conclusion.

d. Write a thesis statement.

e. Create an outline:

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