In this carefully crafted essay Orwell poses questions for us to consider about the 'Saint' Gandhi "[...] in the few years left to us before somebodyIn this carefully crafted essay Orwell poses questions for us to consider about the 'Saint' Gandhi "[...] in the few years left to us before somebody presses the button and the rockets begin to fly." At first I was abashed for I don't claim to hold Gandhi in much esteem, however, towards the end he had lured me into a striking literary reflection on both the qualities of the man and the qualities of saints - touching on such points as... "[...] sainthood is also something humans should avoid." And also - "Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings."
In Orwell's words this 'non-attachment' is "[...] a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work."
"Moreover, if one is to love God, or to love humanity as a whole, one cannot give one's preference to any individual person. This again is true, and it marks the point at which the humanistic and the religious attitude cease to be reconcilable."
This detachment further shows how, perhaps a compelling pacifist, Gandhi was not the 'People's Hero' that he is sometimes painted to be. He suggested the Jews' should have committed mass-suicide to 'raise-awareness' of the horrors that were being done to them in Germany. This arose from his belief that "[...] all human beings are more or less approachable" which as Orwell points out is not necessarily true and violent action in some cases is a prerequisite to peace.
"And is it not possible for one whole culture to be insane by the standards of another?"
I could break down every single sentence in this essay to find a cogent insight on cultural issues still relevant today but alas we do not always have time so here's one last point.
In response to Gandhi's views on 'non-attachment' to the world (preparing for an afterlife we can only imagine) and views against eating food that wasn't bland and simply for the express purpose of sustenance, having friends, or loving - either physical or not Orwell concludes:
"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals."...more
I recently re-watched the 2007 Will Smith version of 'I Am Legend' and I always thought it was a decent film, however it is vastly different from RichI recently re-watched the 2007 Will Smith version of 'I Am Legend' and I always thought it was a decent film, however it is vastly different from Richard Matheson's original title. In fact the only similarities are perhaps: the protagonist's name, vaguely where he lives, and the fact that everybody else is a vampire - even that becomes twisted through hollywood eyes. Although most of us feel like we can relate to the subtle moments of loss and triumph (OMG the dog/bath moment is a killer), the daily routine, the clinical trials, the 'normal' emotions, these are all unrealistic depictions of how a human being would act, live, and survive during such times.
“Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man.”
Matheson portrays such a raw, unsettling, and probably truthful depiction of the reality that would face the last man on Earth that it does not make for a particularly enjoyable read - in fact it is truly horrifying....more