“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day… Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and stick out like a handle?” In the children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, two toys talk within a nursery about what it means to be Real. As I listened to the reading, I realized that I can apply the discussed qualifications for Real into my life, and as I did so I began to recognize just how Real I may be.
After reading the book to the class my teacher issued an assignment, a five page essay on “What does it mean to be real?” I immediately thought “With such a harsh case of senioritus? Impossible! Real? It means to walk around with air in your lungs, moveable joints and a ticking heart.” A few minutes later I woke up a bit more and evaluated the question further. It took me several weeks, many I-Pod searches, a time-consuming assessment of my life and intense movie watching, but I do believe that I have the key that will uncover Real’s meaning in every sense.
What does it mean to be real? According to Webster’s Dictionary real is defined as “physically existing or not artificial”. As the great French philosopher René Descartes said “I think therefore I am”, I say “If I am then I exist and if I exist, then I am physically here”. Now establishing the fact that I am real in the physical sense, the question, “Am I artificial?” develops. This question is a tricky one with regard to the concept that teenagers do not act on our own sense of morals, but rather on the desire to satisfy those whose affection we crave, and I am no exception. Taking all this into account I am artificial, however, if this is the manner in which the rest of my contemporaries behave then I am only as real as my age. So far through my life I have operated with appendages in my eyes, with others steering my vision of reality, whether they are my parents, friends, peers or media and I realize that one element in being real is to seize control of what and how I see and understand...
Cited: "Real." Merriam Webster’s Desk Dictionary. 1995.
Williams, Margery. The Velveteen Rabbit. Random House Children 's Books: HCI, January 1958
Boyd, Brandon. Dig. Sony Music Entertainment: EPIC, November 2006
Hacikyan, Shaant. Teasing to Please. Fueled by Ramen: June 2006
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