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    Araby Reflection

    Through the narrator’s realization that reality is not always in correspondence with his desires, James Joyce reveals the overall meaning of his work, claiming that, with maturity, comes rationality, which can be a dark and difficult process. At the...

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    Jane Eyre’s Influence on my Story

    After reading chapter one of Jane Eyre, I have been inspired by many aspects of Charlotte Brontë’s story. This chapter opens with ten year old Jane, who was neglected and essentially abused by her family. Such alienation causes the...

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    Authentic Living

    On Friday, March 13, 2020, I walked out of school, excited for the highly anticipated two week break forced by an unfamiliar virus that had entered the United States. Little did I know, this day was just the beginning...

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  • In “To His Coy Mistress,” through the characterization of the speaker, author Andrew Marvell proves the selfishness and licentiousness of humanity because people are often driven by their desires and fail to consider the feelings of others, seen most prominently in the manipulative and lustful speaker.

    I chose this GIF because people are so…Read More

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    Importance of Individuality

    In today’s world, which is captivated by social media, people have a tendency to conform to those around them. Celebrities are idolized, causing people to put themselves down at the sight of celebrities’ seemingly perfect lives. To cope with...

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    2 Comments
    • I found your article “Importance of Individuality” very informative. A sentence that stood out to me was “Over one hundred years before John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Thoreau urges the same idea that it is not about what the government can do for you, but what you can do for the government.” This stood out to me because Thoreau’s philosophy is coherent, however like you stated many people drift away from this type of ideology. I really look forward to learning more about this topic, thank you for sharing.

    • Brooke,
      Your article was very well quoted and was a good read! Overall, I partially agree with you. I certainly agree that everyone has a right to self-expression; no person should be pressured to imitate others. Authenticity is certainly a value I hold dear.
      However, I worry that it is in part an over-emphasis and misinterpretation of individuality that leads to many of the problems you mention in your article, such as the Covid pandemic and issues of social media. After all, many people who reject masks claim to do so as a matter of self-expression, but the consequences upon others are clear. It would seem to me that many people who imitate others on social media ironically do so out of a desire to be unique. The transcendentalist view of nature is one that makes much sense in a world entering the industrial age, but which seems to have negative consequences now. Ultimately, nature is not some incorruptable thing that humans can escape into as it would seem the transcendentalists presented it as, but rather something that humans have always and will always be part of.
      I have several questions: is it possible to participate in modern society and be truly self-reliant? Is choosing to follow traditions and societal expectations (as long as they are not harmful, of course) not a form of self-expression? It seems to me that many folks ironically conform to the idea that they must be different and noncomformist.
      I’m not certain if you’ll ever read this, but if you do I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on transcendentalism! It’s a great article you wrote.

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    Advantages of Bilingualism

    Although English is the dominant language in the United States and throughout the world, there are over 6,500 languages spoken worldwide. Language is an integral part of everyday life, as it allows for communication and expression of emotion. This...

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    A Call to Pilgrimage

    Despite the stresses of our everyday lives, we always tend to find comfort as the day comes to a close. There is typically a specific thing that eases one’s physical and mental tensions, which can be considered a pilgrimage....

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    3 Comments
    • I really like your tone throughout your post. You have a very inspiring and optimistic voice that makes your words very pleasant to read. I also really enjoyed how you tied everyday struggles and stress into your topic and gave examples of how we can take those experiences and use them to help change us into better people.

    • Dear Brooke,
      I was interested about your post because I wanted to understand your perspective on what the ‘call to pilgrimage’ is. I really liked how you specified that a pilgrimage does not have to a religious journey which is what I originally thought pilgrimages to be. One thing that stands out to me is your phrase “it is important to step back and give thanks to all the blessings given to you” because it opened my eyes that pilgrimage is not only about gaining experience but reflecting on the ones one had prior to the journey. Your post reminds me of my own essay on pilgrimage as I also concluded with the idea that it is important one go on a pilgrimage to improve oneself and the world around him or her. I think it is important that any journey, trial, or experience one goes through and grows from it be shared with the world so all can benefit from it, and I believe you did a good job of capturing that thought. Thank you for writing about this topic, and I hope to see more of writing soon to learn more about your perspective on the world.

    • Dear Brooke,
      I was very interested in reading your article titled “A Call to Pilgrimage.” What intrigued me the most was the fact that you focused on a different aspect of a pilgrimage that many necessarily don’t focus on. Rather than the religious aspect, you voiced a pilgrimage “gives us an opportunity to cleanse our minds and reconnect with our ambitions, guiding us back on the right path.” I have never thought of a pilgrimage as simply the journey of life. Especially in today’s world, I think everyone could benefit from this article and take a step back from their lives to get perspective and cleanse their minds. Thanks for writing this article, can’t wait to read more from you soon!

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Araby Reflection

Jane Eyre’s Influence on my Story

Authentic Living

Importance of Individuality

Advantages of Bilingualism

A Call to Pilgrimage

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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