susan griffin draft

susan griffin draft - Head 1 Jared Head Mr. Karachuk...

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Head 1 Jared Head Mr. Karachuk English 110 29 March 2007 Our Relatedness Take a second to look beyond your personal religious, spiritual, or scientific beliefs concerning how we got where we are. Whether you believe life started in the Garden of Eden or through the synthesis of simple chemicals to form living molecules, a point of accord can be reached based on the notion that we are all in some way related. Are we the creation of a God or the descendents of primates? The gaping chasm of this dichotomy reconvenes at the fact that we are all part of a complex web of connections. Unless your personal assertion is that each person spontaneously appeared on Earth as a completely independent entity, it is agreeable that we share consanguinity and interconnectedness. An exalted poem by Chief Seattle describes the relationship between people and the Earth as such: Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
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Head 2 Using introspective, historical, sociological, and psychological viewpoints for analysis, Susan Griffin examines World War II as well as the relatedness of human existence. In “Our Secret”, Griffin tells the remarkably haunting stories of several people and their families, showing how their histories are woven as threads through the web of life. She presents us with the notion that through the grand matrix of life and society, one person’s actions and decisions can have a completely unforeseeable impact on another person who seems otherwise unrelated. Susan Griffin draws on eclectic accounts of growing up and living in the midst of war. She also tells her own family story and compares her secrets to those of others using the web of life to demonstrate our connectedness. “Is one ever really free of the fate of others? I was born in 1943, in the midst of this war. And I sense now that my life is still bound up with the lives of those who lived and died in this time” (314). The primary focus of her essay is Heinrich Himmler, whom she follows from childhood to his rise to power in the Nazi movement. Himmler is forced by his father to relinquish his sense of childhood innocence and naivete at age ten. Serving as his father’s puppet, he is forced to follow a regimented lifestyle that includes scheduled and controlled interactions and the forced keeping of a diary. Himmler keeps a diary in which “the stamp of his father’s character is so heavy on this language that I catch not even a breath of a self here” (315), Griffin remarks. Everything is precisely scheduled and directed by his father: swimming lessons, piano lessons, with whom he will speak and how he will
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susan griffin draft - Head 1 Jared Head Mr. Karachuk...

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