Whitman And Sebald Analysis

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The concept of reality is questionable to any human who steps out of their current world to look for answers of truth. As for Walt Whitman and W. G. Sebald, they have a habit of merging reality with their imaginations. Except what if imagination is part of reality? What if reality to them is not what reality is to other people? What if reality is not a reality but a conception each person has created for themselves through beliefs, ideas and experiences? What if, to Whitman and Sebald, reality is a merging of their perceptions, consciousness, and their memories? Reality is made up of many different notions and theories yet some philosophers have debated that it is made of nothing at all. However, three key concepts keep forcing themselves…show more content…
Sebald “felt a desire to assure [himself] of a reality [he] feared had vanished forever by looking out of that hospital window,” (4). He is talking about the depressing notion of recurring daily life that usually befalls a person who stays inside of a hospital for a prolonged period of time. This passage can be interpreted as, like Halsey, Sebald was experiencing a seemingly depressing phase in his life due to the crippling pain; it was taking over his life and it was as if he had no grasp as to what reality was and that it was slowly fading out of his consciousness. This fade of what is real was so bad that he “slip[ped] over the edge to the floor, half on [his] belly and half sideways” and reached for the windowsill “despite the pain,” (4-5). Sebald clearly believes that in order for a person to have or live in a reality, one must be aware or in full consciousness of one’s surroundings. Consciousness leads to memory, which shapes a colossal part of one’s current reality. What part of a person’s consciousness is memory and which part is reality? Sebald often fuses the both and truly believes that memory is what makes up a reality. In his book he tells his…show more content…
Perception definitely includes both consciousness and memory, as they both affect perception and its impact on one’s reality. However, perception is the one thing that is easily influenced by a person’s feelings or surroundings. For example, the term coined by psychologists as “rosy-retrospection” refers to the habit of remembering negative memories in a positive light. For example, a person can break up with their partner for being emotionally abusive, but after a few months will only remember the good aspects of the relationship and therefore gets back in the relationship – despite the negative outcomes. How one perceives reality is how one will view reality. “What we perceive are no more than isolated lights in the abyss of ignorance, in the shadow-filled edifice of the world,” says Sebald (19). How we view things, the way we interpret them is what determines our
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