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This is my favorite scene ever from 'The Village,' which we watched in class! Please, sit back and enjoy the romance.

I really connected The Village to my philosophy statement because of how love deeply defines the story line. Lucius, the man shown in this clip, has loved Ivy, the blind woman also shown, his entire life. His love defines his personality, just as her love of him defines hers. The entire village, in fact, is built on the idea of lost love, of the attempt to avoid pain in life, and the attempt to preserve the idea of innocence associated with love. Later in the movie, a vicious love triangle further emphasizes the ideas of pain, loss, and love in life, and how attempting to escape any of these three feelings is utterly impossible. This supports my philosophy statement that love and choice define a person.

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In the short story, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, love is also a central concept. An old man with wings falls from the sky, and a couple, hoping he is an angel coming to save their sick baby, saves his life. Through their love of their child, they try to save a life. However, this story illustrates how short-sighted love can be; although their affection for their child is great, the couple does not treat the angel with respect, regard, or give him the basic rights every person deserves. The others of the town follow this example, and although the angel is depended on for miracles he cannot give, he is not given any love in return for his presence or the strange blessings he offers. If you would like to read this story, please just click this link and enjoy!

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In another short story we read by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, a man meets the Devil in the woods and realizes the truth of sin in the world. His love for his wife, Faith, is a motif throughout the story, representing not only literal love of a woman but also man's relationship with faith throughout his life. Despite his love, Young Goodman Brown turned away from Faith, his lady love and his belief, to follow his curiosity towards evil, and is eventually secuded by the Devil, nearly losing his soul in the bargain. For a link to this story, please click here.

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In the short story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe, a childhood companion attempts to help his sick-at-heart friend, Roderick Usher, who's ailement, it seems, is simply FEAR. Because of his tragic family history and a complete paranoia under a constant feeling of terror, Usher cannot find peace, and is further torn apart everyday, espically over incidents involving his ill sister Madeline. In this story, it can be inferred that Usher, his sister, and their ancestors were often inbred. This twisted love, in a brotherly and a romantic way, that Usher has for Madeline, changes the way he reacts to situations and influences all of his choices in his life . For a link to this story, please click here.

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The short story William Wilson by Edgar Allen Poe tells of a young man, William Wilson, who is obsessed with a boy he meets at school who looks and behaves exactly like him. This relationship escalates, and William Wilson's look-a-like begins to act as his conscience throughout his life. The story focuses on the thin difference between love and hate, and how the choices one makes out of hate are not so different from choices made out of love. For a link to this story, please click here.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous Trancendentalist, wrote a piece called 'Self-Reliance' which we read and annotated in class. The main idea of this work is that only through oneself can one find happiness. This truth was a major part of the Trancendentalist beliefs, and supports my philosophy statement because love and choice can originate only from oneself. By being true to oneself, one is able to make clearer choices and allow themselves to love others. Please click here if you would like to read 'Self-Reliance.'

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In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass explores the truth of slavery and the equal humanity of all people, no matter what their skin color is. In class, we read two works from a paper in Douglass' time, trying to support and explain why slavery is good and right. The contradiction of both works is both painful and bitingly truthful. To review these works, titled "The Happiest Laboring Class in the World," please click here. To further understand why the contradictions presented and view an example of ignorance in American history, I highly suggest reading The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, a Slave: Written by Himself.