The Movie American Beauty And Augustine Confessions

1464 words - 6 pages

A stereotype of life is that when people are teenagers they go through a phase where they test the waters with their parents and start to rebel a bit. The teenager thinks he/she is all-knowing, which would be impressive since philosophers grasp for wisdom all of their lives, and think what their parents tell them is not relevant. The story in movies usually ends with the teenager having a revelation or growing up and realizing his parent’s were right and gains respect and love for them. In a sense he comes back home, which reflects the story of the Prodigal’s Son (Luke 15) in the Bible. Augustine uses this allegorically to explain the human condition of life. Humans travel away from their vocation of “being,” and have to travel back from nothingness to themselves so that they can be fully human again. This is a common theme among works, including the movie American Beauty. This movie displays several themes that are covered in Augustine’s Confessions, some being the ideas of authenticity/inauthenticity, ordered/disordered love, and intersubjectivity, or friendship.
In the books of the Confessions, Augustine praises God and confesses his sins while telling the story of his journey. The first half of the Confessions describe his journey away from himself, which include giving into his personal pleasure. The fifth book is when he has a revelation, and the rest of the Confessions gives the account of the process of getting back to himself, or being fully human. It is a path that took a large part of his life, but it in the end, he accepts his vocation of “being”.
The Augustian form of the prodigal son path is one of losing oneself and finding yourself once again. The way that one becomes inauthentic is that the person follows what others do, therefore being unoriginal. Going down this path of inauthenticity sends a person to a land of nothingness. For Augustine this involved giving into his human desires/lusts. In this period of his life Augustine only lived for the enjoyment of creation. He did not see it as a gift from the Creator, but took it selfishly for personal pleasure. This is the disordered nature of love, which involves the idolization of material things in creation in place of the Creator. The correct way for him to love or enjoy creation, which he comes to later, is by using creation to enjoy the Creator, God. God gives creation back to us as a gift for this. Augustine does not see creation as a bad thing, only the way someone uses it is bad. He differs from Plato in this sense since Plato saw material things as evil. But Augustine, being Christian, sees it differently since God is good and He created physical things.
A pivotal point in Augustine’s path toward disordered love was when he was in a garden with his inauthentic friends, the “gang.” They stole pears from a garden as teenagers purely for the pleasure of stealing. Augustine confesses in Book Two: chapter eight that “Especially in that piece of thieving, in which I loved...

Find Another Essay On The Movie American Beauty and Augustine Confessions

L’Oreal And The Globalization Of American Beauty

1283 words - 5 pages . Although L’Oreal reached European success, entering into the U.S. market proved much more difficult. In 1953, L’Oreal formed licensee Cosmair Inc. in New Jersey to distribute its hair-coloring products to beauty salons. The company soon realized three challenges within the U.S. market. First, in the U.S. local middlemen delivered products to salons, and L’Oreal had little to no relationship established with this group. Second, L’Oreal hair

L’Oréal and the Globalization of American Beauty

1019 words - 5 pages do – not who they are. Similar to any other firm L’Oreal also faced major competition in the consumer market – Unilever, P&G and Revlon were its main competitors in the year of 2004. However the company felt confident with its market position while its competitors struggled. L’Oreal led to the globalization of American beauty and its products. At this point individuals all over the world are utilizing their products. It has built a loyal customer base that is almost impossible to compete and like say they – it is “because you are worth it”

The Great Gatsby and American Beauty, The American Dream

1001 words - 4 pages Anyone can succeed through hard work and persistence. That was the original American Dream, and that notion has somewhat been at the heart of American culture through history. However, composers F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of 'The Great Gatsby' (1926), and Sam Mendes, director of the movie 'American Beauty' (1999), explain in their texts that the pursuit of the American Dream is futile. In addition, Fitzgerald shows that subscribing to it leads

American Beauty And Buddhism

1068 words - 4 pages The Truth in Beauty Imagine waking up in the morning and feeling emotionally dead. In the movie "American Beauty," Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a middle aged family man who has no passion, motivation or reason in his life. "American Beauty" won the most coveted award given to movies. "American Beauty" won several Oscars including movie of the year, and best lead actor for the portrayal of Lester Burnham. This movie

AUGUSTINE AND THE EARLY CHURCH

1200 words - 5 pages Augustine and the Early Church Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown Live Oak Public Library, STACKS 270.2 BROW Q5. In Augustine’s unfailing attempt to fight the heresies that plagued the early church, he realized that much of his colleagues and congregation lived by unquestioned faith in the Catholic Church. He also realized that this left them without a strong foundation for which they believed. (Brown, 354) His contributions to the

The essay is about The Saint Augustine Confessions, by (big Shocker) St. Augustine. It is a literary analysis of a passage

1735 words - 7 pages In the late 300's AD, a famous, well-educated "heretic" named Augustine came to the city of Milan. A former teacher, Augustine was known as a dazzling rhetorician, and became an orator for the city, gradually moving up the imperial hierarchy. In this passage from his Confessions, Saint Augustine turns the literary artistry of his oratorical talents to the task of describing his disillusionment with Manicheism in the form of a prayer addressed

Consumerism in the movies American Beauty and Fight Club

771 words - 3 pages because he cannot find happiness in any perspective of his life. Consumerism causes this because the things that were supposed to make him feel better make him feel worse.In addition to the movie Fight Club, the movie American Beauty shows consumerism and advertising in a lesser extent. The movie demonstrates consumerism as an underlying depression. It establishes the point that individuals are depressed by consumerism without them knowing they are

American Beauty and French Impressionism

1212 words - 5 pages and repetitious. Audiences long for something different and thought evoking, so this is what mainstream directors have turned to, and American Beauty is no exception. While maintaining accessibility for a wide cultural society with the use of popular actors and modern concepts, the adoption of foreign film influences has turned this movie into something of a masterpiece, causing us to look closer at our lives and minds, just as early French Impressionist films would have longed for us to do.

False Confessions and the Norfolk Four Case

3106 words - 12 pages . “Protections for the Suspect under Miranda v. Arizona.” Columbia Law Review 67.4 (1967): 645-670. Web. 10 January 2014. Frontline: The Confessions. Dir. Ofra Bikel. PBS Video, 2010. Film. Kassin, Saul M. (1997). “The psychology of confession evidence.” American Psychologist 52 (1997): 221-233. Web. 8 January 2014. Kassin, Saul, and Lawrence Wrightsman (Eds.). The Psychology of Evidence and Trial Procedure. Chapter 3. Beverly Hills: Sage

The Theodicies of Augustine and Boethius

915 words - 4 pages provide answers, although wordy and complex, to this problem of evil and exactly how humans are responsible in the midst of God's sovereignty and Providence. In Augustine's Confessions, the early church father puts forth a complex theodicy in which he declares evil to be nonexistent. Such a leap may seem to be illogical, but this idea stems from the understanding of what is substance and what is not. According to Augustine, the duality of good

Augustine and the Locus of Collective Memory

3915 words - 16 pages In the books X and XI of his Confessions, Augustine aims to tackle the intriguing questions of memory and time, respectively. His phenomenological as well as rigorous approach has attracted many later commentators. Also Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) can be taken as one of these, although Ricoeur’s angle is decisively distinct from that of Augustine’s – it can be said to represent a certain “hermeneutical rationality”. By using Ricoeur’s material as a

Similar Essays

The Confessions Of Saint Augustine Essay

1678 words - 7 pages born if there is a body, which is good). This becomes problematic as God, who is light and good, cannot create or contain evil, for evil is the absence of God Himself. The will’s orientation determines the location of one’s heart is, which can be to the lower goods or the higher goods. Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 say “[Where] your treasure is, your heart will be also”. In Confessions, Augustine recounts the depression that followed the death of

Origin Of Evil In The Confessions By Augustine

913 words - 4 pages In the Confessions, Augustine wrote about his struggle with understanding how evil exists in a world created by God. He questioned how it was possible and why God allows evil in his creations because God is supremely good. After delving into finding a solution, Augustine concluded that evil does not exist, and the things deemed as evil are caused by free will. This paper will argue that Augustine has successfully proven that evil does not exist

Secularism: Eternally Growing Examines The Ideal Of Secularism Through The Works: "Confessions", By St. Augustine, "The Canterbury Tales", By Chaucer, "The Prince", By Machiavelli, And Shakespear

2180 words - 9 pages Secularism: Eternally GrowingLiterature, like other forms of art, is in some instances a conduit for the expression of an individual's religious belief. One author, Saint Augustine of Hippo, took that expression a step further in his autobiography Confessions by transposing his core, idiosyncratic faith onto the government and political establishment of the State. This idea of theocracy, where God is the supreme civil ruler, is not without an

The Sacred And Profane In American Beauty

2127 words - 9 pages Durkheim's concepts of the sacred and the profane has dominated religious and social commentary for decades. While these two, inexorably linked, concepts are most often related with respect to religion, we can apply them to the almost-religion of the “American Dream” for the purpose of analyzing the lives of Lester and Carolyn Burnham, Buddy Kane, and Angela Hayes in the film “American Beauty.” In “American Beauty” the experiences