Dreams and Aspirations

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I have a dream… you have a dream… our nation has a dream… our world has a dream. We all have a dream.

We all have a dream, but the difference is how we realise our dream, how we obtain our dream, and how our dream changes us. This is evident in our learning of dreams and aspirations through the texts Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? by Lasse Hallström, and through my own studies of Million Dollar Baby by Clint Eastwood. These three highly acclaimed texts represent the same ideas on dreams and aspirations, which can be defined as hope, desire or the longing for a condition or achievement, but these texts express the same ideas differently, shaping our understanding of dreams and aspirations.

"If you can imagine it you can create. If you can dream it, you can become it." William Arthur Ward
These three texts contain the search for dreams, whether they be absurd, simple, or take you on a journey. Throughout the texts, the protagonists realise their dreams, each represented in a different way. In Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys, Charlie's dream is to be intelligent, not so that he can be normal, but so people will like him. Charlie knows that his retardation has cut him off from most of society, and has limited his ability to connect with people, but he does not mind. Charlie does not long to join society to increase his social standing; rather, he longs to join primarily because he is lonely. In Charlie's mind, intelligence is the quality that will gain him entry into a world of friends. The resulting irony is that when Charlie does become incredibly intelligent, he finds himself even lonelier than before.

"I just want to be smart like other pepul so I can have lots of frends who like me." progris riport 6th page 10

It is also Charlie's innocence of his dream that allows him to be exploited. It is Professor Nemur that has allowed Charlie's innocence to be vandalised through the operation, as Professor Nemur expresses his own motivations in comforting Charlie that he will be famous, and will make the history books. However, these are Professor Nemurs' dreams not Charlies, and Nemur is only using Charlie to reach his dreams. "And he said that meens Im doing something grate for sience and Ill be famus and my name will go down in the books. I dont care so much about beeing famus." progris riport 6th page 10

Charlie's dream may seem absurd to some, as technologically there is no magic cure for mental disability, and is the reason why Professor Nemur did not want Charlie to tell other people, as they may think that it is stupid, and hopeless.

Gilbert's realisation of his dream in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? by Lasse Hallström is a lot different to Charlie's. Unlike Flowers for Algernon, Gilbert only realises his dream midway through the film text, and this is only through Becky pushing Gilbert just far enough out of his rut to make a few things happen, forcing him to wake up to his life, and to take action. Gilbert is placed was in "hibernation" as nothing happens in Endora, and his life is dull, and simple. "Living in Endora is like dancing to no music"

Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp)

However, when Gilbert does realise his dream of being free from the burdens of Endora, and being able to leave, it seems quite simple and humble compared to Charlie's dream of being intelligent, and Maggie's dream in Million Dollar Baby to become a successful boxer.

In Million Dollar Baby, by Clint Eastwood, there are dreams throughout the film text, some impossible, some present, some lost, and some unseen. Million Dollar Baby focuses on the unseen dream of Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), the 32 year-old inexperienced boxer. Her desire to box consumes every free moment she has in the effort of becoming a successful boxer. However, no one believes she has the power to do it except for her, but her willingness to continue endeavours on. "If there's magic in boxing, its...
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