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Accept Changes To Move On From Past Beliefs

1606 words - 7 pages

What makes life full of surprises and excitements is the fact that it is unpredictable. Nothing stays the same forever, and everything is destined to change. Whether the changes are positive or not depends on how much one is willing to unconditionally accept and adjust to them. The protagonists Alice and Barry, from “Mirror Image” written by Lena Coakley and “Saturday Climbing” by W.D. Valgardson respectively, are dealing with different forms of changes in their lives, but are both learning to accept and embrace them. Both of them start off with strong resistance against the changes introduced to their lives, constantly fighting against them and clinging on to the past. However, through ...view middle of the document...

To others, she is neither Alice nor Gail, and is denied acceptance from members of both families; and to herself, she is merely a different person, whose identity remains unknown even to her. On the other hand, Barry in the story “Saturday Climbing” struggles to adapt to his teenage daughter’s transformations as she grows to become a young adult. After his wife had left him, Barry has been trying to provide his daughter Moira with an uncomplicated life. He tries to hold back his displeasure towards her actions; he dares not speak of his resentments and disappointments; and he tries to shield her from all the negativity of the world. Ever since she was young, “…he thought of her as being intricately constructed of fragile paper… He did his best to keep life simple and uncomplicated. It was, he thought, the way to provide security” (Valgardson 53). His beliefs, which are not paced to match the changes in his daughter, have caused many confrontations between the two. Barry conflicts with Moira as he fails to realize the fact that she is transforming as she grows up, and is no longer the innocent little girl who needed his protection. In both stories, Alice and Barry are unable to get pass their insecurity and past beliefs, and therefore struggle to embrace the changes they come across in their lives.
Secondly, as the two stories progress, Alice and Barry both begin to realize the need to cultivate their abilities to adapt to the changes. In the story “Mirror Image”, Alice’s beliefs begin to transform during her encounter with Mr. Jarred, Gail’s father. The two meet coincidently in the middle of the street, and both of them have questions which they hope the other person can answer. Alice, who is constantly viewed as an outsider by her own family, wonders if she still has any connections with the Jarred family. At the same time, Mrs. Jarred desperately want to believe her daughter is still alive, but Mr. Jarred realizes that the daughter is no longer the same person. In the end, Alice questions him about her identity, to which he replies: “‘I’ll tell her I looked into your eyes and that I didn’t see my daughter’. [Alice] didn’t ask the question that immediately came to her, but the words rang in her mind: who did you see?” (Coakley 18). From Mr. Jarred’s words, Alice begins to realize the fact that even though her family believes her to be Gail, her identity remains what she wants it to be. She comes to the realization that being different from her old self is an unavoidable change that she needs to learn to embrace in her life. Moreover, in “Saturday Climbing”, Barry signs both his daughter and himself up for rock climbing, to Moira’s displeasure at first but delight later on. For every climb, Barry attempts to lead the way and deal with the obstacles first before Moira follows him, as he believes that to be the best form of security and leadership he can provide. During a weekend climbing, in an attempt to heal a rift of yet...

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