Humanity, Content, and Pride.

As reading to the very end of the play, unlike other novels, I felt the unknown pain in my heart. A tear? A sympathy? Still it is pretty vague for me to decide what kind of feelings I have for Mr. Loman. (Personally, I consider that Willy would like us to call him as his last name more than his name, since he always wanted respect but never realized or earned one.) However, I am sure that this play is meant to be a black comedy, for it is hard to deny that it is sad that he counted death worthy over surviving. But was he a tragic hero? In my opinion, he could be a reflection of our society, but not a tragic ‘hero.’ 

First of all, the life that Mr. Loman pursuit runs with the amount of the money that a man could earn. Basically, his goals of life is not there for humanity or happiness, but for the money, which is useful but not the utmost virtue for one to depend his life on. In my opinion, one should always set their goal based on his virtue and humanity, which includes happiness, loyalty, enthusiasm, respect and love. When it comes to Mr. Loman, he has neither for himself or for his family, especially not for his wife. Linda would be mentioned later, but though Linda is the only character who shows her respect for her husband, he never respects her as a wife, as a human being. If a man ought to be hero, he must have some kind of humanity where he could overcome his anxiety or obstacles, such as the feeling of loss by getting fired from the business he poured his heart on. Moreover, he wasn’t loyal or enthusiastic, nor true to what he owned. He had a love affair with the woman, which broke his son’s heart, and always lied about his career. If he was honest about his desires and hope, and the love, he wouldn’t have been lonely at the first place. He felt extremely lonely because he didn’t have self confidence to decide what he admires the most (for example, Ben, who went straight into the jungle and found the diamonds,) and expected that from his sons. Again, there is no such hero who is lacking his humanity or self conscious, the identity. This is the first point of the sadness in the reality that Arthur Miller is pointing out. We struggle for money, reach out for success too much, where we lose our selves and drown to death when something turns out wrong.

In between acts in the play, without a exception, Willy is called a kid or pal. Why is this happening? I mean, he is over his 60s, and his sons are often calling him as a kid. Bit awkward for the readers to read for the first time, but actually there are lots of connotation hidden inside. Are the people who we call ‘adults’ all grown up? In my opinion, a man is never fully grown up until he dies; and the measurement of how a man is grown up could be a measure of how he could be content about what he has it in present. Not what he used to have, or what he will going to have, but what God gave him in present time in His presence. Readers can observe how he is sick of his life flowing from the scene where he talks about the cheese. He wanted Swiss Cheese, but what he have got in his fridge is American whipped cheese, where he goes outrageous about. Those lines show how Willy could not be content about what he have got. Yes, the whipped cheese sounds pretty absurd, yet reality is all about those absurd things. Life doesn’t always flow where we planned to. It was not his fault for Biff flunking on his Math, or Willy fired by Howard, but he still got his way of life, friend who offers job, lovely wife, and two sons who are healthy. Why can’t he just support them? I do understand he has such high expectations from them since he sacrificed his life time to provide them a better life, but that’s how far he can do for them. It would have been much easier for him to be happy only if he realized how he achieved so far, and be thankful about it. 

 Thus, what I count the most that made his life so tragic, is his pride. Pride is something so small, where its impact can overload what one intended to make. Willy’s pride is makes him not righteous as all other salesman, the fathers. His pride is always in his way, grows more and more as the scene continues, and at last swallows Willy, put him to a miserable death which made nothing worth it. Life is a jungle, and one can never be perfectly passive without his pride, but he had too much of his pride without taking action, for he became a person who force his sons to achieve his wild dream for him. Also, he could not accept the fact, the reality ever since he had appeared in the play, where he could not accept the job that Charley offered for him, or tell the truth about Biff when Bernard asked about. All these because his pride could not stand on it. At this point, I noticed the reason why he is kept called a kid, because he can never let go of his pride and desires for the better things, for the virtue of life.

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All We gotta do is to just simply turn around/ Part ll of the ‘International marriage issue in Korea.’

“Making a voice for the voices….”

    Before you start to listen to my voice, I want to thank all of you who chose to spend her precious time to actually listen what I am trying to say. I guarantee, that your decision of listening to the voice would change what you have never thought of before.

    Well, even before that, please turn on the TV nearby, and watch the news channel for a while. What do you see? What can you hear? What is catching your attention? Isn’t there a news  about abortion, teen pregnancy, modern life stresses, sexual abuse trials? The news about how women all around the world are mistreated. Yes, my voice is for women who are suffering from those kind of miseries. But specifically, women who are going through all of those news at once.

    In today’s world, female teen suicidal is increasing in every moment, due to those news that I’ve just mentioned. Try to imagine one of those news happened in your life. Pretty harsh, isn’t it? It would be painful for you to go through this and get over with, whether your family, friends and loving ones are around you, helping you to get through that. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese women, who are married by international marriage in South Korea, are going through all kinds of miseries that the female can face, alone, left in foreign country.

  To briefly inform about the international marriage service in Vietnam and Korea, a man who is in his 30s-50s usually, joins the service group and pick a Vietnamese lady he likes from the ‘options.’ The chosen lady packs her things and flies to Korea, and gets married to the man, since she had a contract with the service. So far, this type of ‘marriage’ may sound more of a purchase than the actual meaning of the marriage we use in our society, but it does not say that they are in misery. However, when we observe the system precisely, it comes clear this type of marriage is illegal. First, the female in this marriage loses her will of marriage, right after she signs on the contract. Second, this marriage is not by relation between two of them, but actually by the choice of the man who pays to the service. This does not seem different from purchasing a slave, is it? Thus, these women who joined the service, usually joined the service because their families did not have money to prepare for traditional marriage in Vietnam, or in extreme poverty, where they had to sell their daughters out to the service for their living. Besides, they are just over teenage, and the grooms are usually in their 30s-50s. Now when we put ourselves into their shoes, this marriage comes very unfaithful and injustice for the bride side. And this is not the end of the story.

My cousin has a Vietnamese friend named Lien, who got married to a Korean man, but by her own will. She’s 33 years old, and she works for the institute that is helping out the foreigners, especially the women who are abused in their international marriage. When I first asked her if her life in Korea is difficult, she first hesitated to tell, but told me that the past 8 years were like the trials. She said the motivation of her job now is from her experience where she had so many problems with language, culture, and people. According to her story, she had to face people’s prejudice on her background, her marriage, her husband, which affected her to carry her life in Korea. She said living every moment in such trial was so hard, but she could get through this with her husband. Lien then explained how international marriage abuse is going on. Mostly, the young girls come to get married, and since they are alone, and not even used to language, often mistreated from the their marriage. In worse cases, they are once again sold as a sex slaves in countryside, or even captured after running away, and put on the organ market lists. Lien also added that some of the victims hesitate to visit the institute, because they are in fear that they might get caught and end up dead. Over 62% of them have had/ have depressing or trust issues, and answered that they want to kill themselves if they cannot go back home. Wouldn’t it be hopeless for you when you are lost and abused in foreign country, alone?

On the other hand, can we say we are completely irrelevant from this issue, such a miserable marriage happening out there? No, we are not. In some point, not just the spouses of this marriage, but we also have a part of the abusing , in a social aspect. Now don’t get me wrong, but our society do have prejudice on the foreigners who are not white. This prejudice applies especially on the foreigners from the developing country, where they are weak in the society. For example, there was a experiment by EBS(Social work broadcasting center), where they put American and the Malaysian in the middle of the street, to pretend that they are lost while traveling, and have a map in their hands. What would you do when you face the lost tourist on the street? Do you think you’d be fair to them? The result of this experiment was pretty shocking, because 6 people out of 10 completely ignored the Malaysian man, and 10/10 of another group helped the American man. Moreover, the 4 of those 10 who helped American man, asked them if they need help even before the man asked them. None of these happened in Malaysian man’s case. Of Course, we cannot assume wholly from this, but it does have a point that our society has a prejudice on such groups of people. There are 15,000 international marriage happening every day, and maybe we are pressuring the victims of international marriage with our prejudice, when they are alone, lost in the unusual culture.

And now, dear listeners, what could we do about the marriage? We have to admit that we cannot stop the marriage service, or the brides’ families, or the men who joins the service. As matter of fact, there are few things we can do for those women. We are the women who are in age of themselves, their sisters, friends, and a mother. We know how it feels like to be alone when we are alone, or pregnant, or mistreated by men. What we can do, therefore, is to just simply look around, to turn around. By the meaning of turn around, is not only that we could put ourselves into their shoes, but also to reduce our prejudice in social. If we carefully observe, we will easily notice that there are foreign women who are going to this kind of misery. Before we think of their background, or walk away, take just a bit of time to actually care. Questions like “How was your day?” might help them to find hope in their life in Korea, though they might not be good at speaking. It will also give then intention that there are always way to ask for a help, and motivate them to try learning about the culture, which makes them adjust in the society easier.

I believe that we could change this type of misery all together; if we pay more attention on the international marriage issue, reduce our prejudice on their cultural backgrounds, but care more of how they would feel lost in the forced marriage in unfamiliar country.

Ad/Campaign_ Vietnamese Women Abuse

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Ad/Campaign_ Vietnamese Women Abuse

Every year, over 800 Vietnamese women are suffering from their international marriage in South Korea, banned from society, abused by their ‘illegal’ husbands, and departed from their families. They are mostly just over teenagers, and almost 62 % of them answered that they have had/or have depressing or trust issues, and want to end their life. What we have to do is not difficult at all, we just have to turn our seats, our chairs, and ASK them “How was your day?”.