I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.

True Human Nature In “A Temporary Matter”, “Eleven”, “Love Of Life”, And “Mr Pirzada Came To Dine”

My perspective of the human nature has dramatically changed over the course this semester. I thought that human beings were born to survive and improve their lives. After reading, analyzing, and discussing the short fiction of various authors, I have come to the conclusion that human nature is to learn lessons from each other. They will also gain valuable insights from the difficulties they experience.

In Jhumpa’s “A temporary matter”, a couple decides to answer each other’s questions honestly. These truths bring them closer together. The husband eventually discovers “that she spent the past evenings planning a life that would not include him.” (ATM 18). The husband realizes that some situations are deceptive. He thinks they’re getting closer but his wife actually left him. The husband can reflect on his decisions in the light of this challenging situation. He can see how truth can be hurtful from both sides, because he’s heard and said truths which caused pain to those who heard them. Both the husband and wife also learn that the loss of the unborn child is a life-changing event that can’t be controlled by anyone. This shows how being human is about learning from personal struggles as well as watching or sharing another person’s struggles.

Sandra Cisneros puts her main character in an unfair situation. The girl is forced by her teacher to accept the fact that she has an ugly sweater. She is also made to wear it. This is a very unfair and upsetting situation for the narrator, who knows it’s not hers. After the incident, the owner of sweater is revealed but no-one in the class has been told. The narrator is then able to experience injustice first-hand. All humans eventually learn that sometimes life is unfair without apparent reason.

She also learns that the owner of an ugly sweatshirt is not very important to her. The narrator also learns that identity is constantly changing. The narrator says that her age is not what defines her, but rather the experiences that she has acquired over the years. The narrator realizes something important about humans, namely that our identities always change as we experience new things.

The narrator understands this by saying, “If i was 102, I’d know what to say when Ms. Price put that red sweater on the desk.” (E. 6, 6). The story of the narrator shows that people are always willing to learn, even from difficult circumstances.

Jack London’s “Love of Life”, a journey of an individual that becomes a battle to survive, illustrates how humans learn from their experiences. In “Love of Life”, a man’s journey is turned into a struggle to survive when his travel companion sprains their ankle. After that, the man has to walk on his own and barely makes it. By the time the story ends, he’s clinging onto the last vestiges of life. The man’s close encounter with death and the sight of the dead bodies of other travelers makes it easy to realize how valuable life is. The man’s struggle in the wilderness teaches him perseverance and willpower.

The narrator states that “Yet his life was driving him on.” The man was exhausted, but he refused to give up. (LOL, 8). This shows that he has discovered what a truly capable person is. It is human nature to try and push yourself beyond your limits, but still succeed. London also illustrates the value in human life despite all the difficulties that it comes with through this story.

In the short-story “Mr. In the short story “Mr. This struggle was observed by the child narrator because Mr. Pirzada used to come to his house every night for dinner to watch the television news. After observing Mr. Pirzada fretting about his family’s safety, the narrator shows a lot more empathy. I’d never prayed about anything before.

It is important that the narrator understands how to be empathetic with people in difficult situations. Empathy can lead to bonds between people when one understands the struggles that others are facing. The narrator’s statement “I could understand what it meant to be away from someone for hours and miles, just like he had been missing his family and wife for many months” shows that, by the time the experience was over, she understood how Mr. Pirzada must have felt. My belief that people are able to gain empathy for others and to better understand their feelings is strengthened by the narrator.

The short stories I read this semester have changed the way I see the human condition. These short stories taught me that human beings are designed to learn from each other and the struggles they face, which will help them to better understand themselves, others, and the value of life. Lahiri shows her readers in her short stories that not everything is as it appears and that the world is full of difficult situations. In addition, Lahiri makes it clear that people are able to learn from the struggles of others and also from those who share a similar struggle.

London’s “Love of Life”, a short story, made a point about the value of living and the human willpower to continue living in spite of all the struggles. Cisneros’s short story “Love of Life” shows how bad life experiences can teach us about life. He also explains the unfairness in life. These stories are all based on the idea that humans learn from difficult experiences and can grow as a result.


  • emmetthouse

    Emmett House is a 29 yo school teacher and blogger who is passionate about education. He has a vast amount of experience in the field and is always eager to share his insights with others. Emmett is a dedicated teacher who truly cares about his students' success. He is also an expert on using technology in the classroom, and is always looking for new ways to engage his students.

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