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The Mind: Evil Or Good? Essay

1824 words - 8 pages

In 1950s America, the fields of psychology and psychoanalysis were beginning to be reexamined and expanded as more cases of mental distress and disorders were uncovered that no one knew how to treat. These cases could often related back to one main theme, which was unhappiness in one aspect of an individual’s life. This problem area could be home life, work, social status, or a number of other areas. No matter what the root of the problem, the issue always caused a person to feel inconsequential and their minds would spiral down a negative path until they were no longer, by society’s terms, sane. Existentialists, those who believe individuals should be responsible for developing how they want and when they want, viewed these allegedly crazy people as developing at their own pace. They did not believe, however, that these people were discovering the meaning of their life as they were, more often than not, unhappy with their lives. The existentialists believed that when one does not aim for a specific goal or yearn to find meaning in their life, they are not living their life the way it was intended. The existential view emphasized a person or individual being responsible for determining their development on their own terms and discovering the meaning in life. When the mind gets in the way, in cases such as psychopathy, it does not allow for the individual to discover the true meaning of their own life as their judgment may become clouded by their current state of mind. The mind has a great deal of power in the matter of deciding whether a person will succeed on the existential path or if they will go down the path of psychopathy. This power can do a person a lot of good but it may also cause them a lot of stress and harm them in many ways. The power of the mind was imagined to be infinitely great by Americans in the 1950s and was the ultimate deciding factor in which way a person’s life would go. It was very important to Americans to shape the mind in a way that would ensure that the individual would achieve nothing short of excellence.
The mind holds the key to a person’s inner self and directly affects how the person is perceived by the world. Because the human mind can be extremely powerful, if it is not handled properly it can become exceedingly detrimental to not only itself but to others the individual interacts with. Ray Bradbury’s character, Hitchcock, from his short story, “No Particular Night or Morning,” is a shining example of the terrifying effects of a detrimental mind. After being out in space for so long without seeing anything familiar from his home planet, Hitchcock’s mind began playing tricks on him, causing him to have strange thoughts that slowly drove him to madness. He refused to seek help and, as a result, his mind got the best of him and he left the ship a delirious and foolish man. His image was ruined among his comrades because everyone only remembered the crazy version of himself because of the...

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