Springetc - Jennifer Carl Midterm Paper"Spring Summer...

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Jennifer Carl February 27, 2008 Midterm Paper “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring.” Raised in solitude by a strict Buddhist monk, and then thrust into the outside world, the protagonist in “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring” really had very little chance of dealing with the harsh realities of “the world of men” as his master calls it. Though this movie uses the seasons to represent the stages of life, the problems and solutions that arise for the Buddhist apprentice are more specific to his upbringing and understanding of the world than to any “universal” issues. Both attachment theory and cognitive development come into play, though perhaps in less than traditional ways, corresponding with his less than traditional upbringing. Raised on a very small temple floating in the middle of a river surrounded completely by mountains, our protagonist, who is nameless but will be referred to as “boy” for the purposes of this paper, grows up in a world free of social complication, left to the teachings of his master, and to his own devices. At first plot point of the film, Boy is at a very young age and his Master witnesses him tormenting three creatures, a fish, a frog, and a snake, by tying a little of piece of rock to a string, and then tying the string around the animal. As a punishment, the Master ties a rock to Boy’s back, and instructs him to free the creatures he tied up; warning him that if any are dead, he will bear the burden of their death on his soul for the rest of his life. One would think that this would be a sufficient lesson, teaching the boy respect for life, especially when we see how devastated he is after he finds that both of the fish and the snake are dead. However his continual disregard for any life but his own throughout the rest of the film is reinforced
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by a lifestyle that promotes detachment from all things. Without a working model for how to handle relationships and possessions, and subsequently a model for maintaining and losing such things, Boy had absolutely no emotional reserve to fall back on when he inevitably did fall in love and was rejected by that love. In an isolated world, the necessity of a peer group to aid in deeming social norms,
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Springetc - Jennifer Carl Midterm Paper"Spring Summer...

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