The Power of Love in Literature

Topics: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Love, Political philosophy Pages: 4 (1630 words) Published: February 16, 2014
Armen Vartanyan
CSULA English 102 #10
First Essay
February 7, 2014
Power of Love
Once in a while we are fortunate enough to experience films that move us. A powerful drama has the ability to captivate its audience emotionally. The 1996 movie Shine is the story of a real pianist who battles through a troubling past to recover from mental deviations. The film offers the audience a biographical representation of an emotional father-son relationship that appeals to audience emotions. The life crisis portrayed in the movie Shine can be related to the readings by Lao-Tzu, Machiavelli and Rousseau. The three readings; Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching, The Qualities of the Prince and The Origin of Civil Society, interconnect with the movies main character David and Peter Helfgott and their tortured relationship.

Lao-Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and author of The Tao-te Ching, encourages leaders to center themselves in the Tao. Lao-Tzu’s master and David Helfgott can be compared to one another to help us understand the inspiration behind Tao- te Ching. We see the idea of emptying of one’s mind take important form in his text. The idea of not knowing is seen and how being empty is tied into this idea of centering oneself in the Tao. “The master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores.” By emptying his mind, David was able to find what was best for him. He followed his heart and took off to the Royal College of Music, despite his father’s desires.

Another example of a concept from Lao-Tzu that relates to David’s life is that of pride and not knowing. Lao-Tzu says, “When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide” We see David unknowingly thinking he knows it all. This pride and arrogance is instilled in him from his father’s own desire. Peter’s constant oppressive behavior towards David’s musical success is ultimately what causes David his mental breakdown and we are reminded of that from this quote. Peter...
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