Free Argumentative Essay About Reality Vs. Escapism
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The issue is choosing reality vs. escapism. There is no right or wrong answer to it as both the approaches have their ways of dealing with daily life. These two approaches have been widely debated by the social scientists. To understand this we will present the debate through the Rogerian Model of argument to reach a conclusion.
The issue of escapism is a mental diversion, which seeks escape from unpleasant aspects of daily life. It defines the actions or behavior people adopt to help themselves relieve from feelings of stress, sadness or depression. On the other hand, reality is dealing with day to day life as it is. The objective of this paper is to discuss both through the Rogerian model of argument.
The two conflicting concepts are reality and escapism. While I prefer the concept of reality, it is important to understand escapism as well. It is more of a psychological escape as mentioned by the theorist, which gives a comforting feeling to the person facing any form of stress or depressive feelings. It is a tendency to seek distraction from what is seen to be endured. People challenge the idea to be negative; however, to understand we will just discuss the basic facts of escapist behavior. It is argued by J Tolkein to be a creative expression of reality within an imaginative secondary world. It is a way some people may prefer in order to focus better on the important things, which otherwise may get disturbed. It may suit a particular life style better than others. According to the famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud, escapism was an important element for human life. He believed it that it helped them subsist on the satisfaction extorted by the reality and a person needs auxiliary constructions. Taking drugs is also a form of escapism which helps mind relieve for a certain period of time from the reality. . Escapism is also defined as refocusing one’s attention to pleasant and enjoyable things. It is argued to be a healthy way of avoiding negative thoughts or experiences or it may result in obsessive behavior as per the theorists. Forms of healthy escapism are reading a book or playing a sport. A part of the argument against escapism present by the theorists is that it may result in unplanned behavior. Death of an Innocent by Chris McCandless is an example of escapist behavior, where the subject of the story, Alex, adopted an escapist behavior. A young man Gallien, describes the behavior of Alex in the story that the hitchhiker Alex planned to spend a few months in the bushes and had insufficient supplies with him. At one point, Gallien wondered if Alex was a mentally challenged person as Alaska was known to have hitchhiker of disturbed mental balance and the place where Alex was headed was known to serve as an unpleasant end for several hitchhikers. Alex didn’t come across as a misfit as he was well-educated but the behavior points out to conclude that the behavior was that of an escapist. It was confusion between idealism and escapism and teaches the value of a balance between the theories of life. It points out that escapism doesn’t necessarily result from a disturbed experience and a person like Alex, who later turns out to be McCandless, can adopt it for a different experience. The person was ignoring reality and the end result of that was that after he ignored reality checks for 16 weeks, his family started suffering. Despite everything the behavior persisted and eventually resulted in his death.
On the other hand reality, or reality check, is a way of continuous reinforcement of the events happening around. It is completely acknowledging the facts and events in a person’s life in their exact form. However, too much focus on reality may become a challenge for person and some sort of escapism may be necessary to keep that in balance.
While it is not easy to choose one side, and a person tends to keep switching between the two approaches of reality and escapism, the two concepts have some similarities and differences. Both the approaches share the goal of focusing on daily life better. While some may be better able to focus and function while adopting escapist behavior, the others may be better off by taking a reality check approach and find it more practical. It is important to find a common ground where a person can balance both to function in a healthier way. The values of escapism are that it has to be practiced in balance otherwise it may be categorized as excessive or obsessive, and the same goes for reality. If a person is focusing too much on the practical surroundings, he or she may become obsessed with a certain way.
After looking through both the lenses, we can conclude that there is no right or wrong answer, as mentioned in the thesis. It is more important to find a balance between these approaches and adopt the behavior according to the need of the situation a person is in. Both the positions are interested in the apparent well-being of a person and help a person function in day to day life. It is best explained by the TEDYouth 2012 performance by David Fasanya and Gabriel Barralaga “Beach Bodies” which explains that the way we lead our lives are based on our perception of things and to change how we see ourselves we have to challenge our thinking. It is a simple yet powerful relation of perception to the real life. If a person may perceive life to be bearable through the escapist behavior or if a person may believe in walking side by side with reality, he or she should have the freedom to choose it. The argument does not encourage to take one side to the extreme, as it may become harmful to the individual.
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KRAKAUER, JON. "Death of an Innocent: In 1990 Chris McCandless left his well-off East Coast family, gave his college fund to Oxfam, and took to the road - young, idealistic, invincible. Last year, equipped with little more than Tolstoy and a rifle, he hitched into Alaska." 11 April 1993. The Independent. 04 January 2015.
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Quindlen, Anna. Playing God on No Sleep. New York : Random House, 2004.
Rao, Y.M. Escapism and Escape . Research . Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1996.
Tuan, Yi-fu. Escapism. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998.
WitWorth, Brian. The Physical World as a Virtual Reality . Research . Albany: Massey University, 2007.
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