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Gore Vidal's "The Robin", Idealization Of The Past

950 words - 4 pages

Have you ever noticed that everything was so much better in the good old days? Have you noticed that when someone takes a look at something that holds value in your life, they see it in a different light? Have you noticed that sometimes it is more fun to believe things about yourself that maybe aren't true? People have a habit of making things out to be different then they truly are. Everyone does it in some way or another, whether it is by idealizing the past, seeing something how you want to see it, or thinking of yourself how you want to be thought of. A perfect example of this is in Gore Vidal's "The Robin".The past, what a great time that was, right? Relationships were easier, money was not so complicated, and work was more fun. These were the good old days. If only we could get back to how it was. It would be so much better, wouldn't it. The main character of "The Robin" seemed to remember the past in an ideal light; "But at nine…I was more colorful, more desperate and certainly more original than I've been since." (Vidal 2036) Was he how he says, or is he remembering how he would like to? We don't know this character when he was nine so it is hard to say, but chances are he wasn't.Truthfully, when we really think about it, how was the past really? Maybe there were really great years, but there also were really bad times. We like to forget the bad times. As we grow, we learn from our experiences and hopefully continue to become a better person every year. How then can we say that we were better back then, or times were easier, if we didn't have the same knowledge or experiences to use as resources to use to help out in life?As we look at things do we always see exactly what it is, or do we see what we want to see. For instance the house in "The Robin" was described as;"...a gracious late nineteenth century muddle of styles: red brick,with tall windows on the ground floor and inside, a curving staircase.There were high ceilings, cracks in the walls, and everywhere the senseof many generations of Southern feudal life;" (Vidal 2036)This would be a fabulous house to be in as a young boy with a wild imagination. You could imagine lots of grand things in a house like this, but was that the truth about the house, no;"...actually the house was the relic of a rich Northerner who, having comeSouth with a Republican administration, built this house, fancied himselfa squire, willed it to his children, died, and they, true heirs, promptly soldit." (Vidal 2036)This...

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