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The Woman in the Dunes - Essay Example

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Further examples are shown when he tries to escape the dunes, but failing to do so, gets to work and starts finding useful things to do, ultimately coming up with a ‘technology’ to get water from the dunes around him. These various examples all point towards the same human truth. Is that truth the adaptability of humans, or is it the helplessness of humans, which once resigned to is rewarded by fate? Ultimately, human beings are helpless creatures. While they have a certain amount of free will and control over their lives, they are in all actuality confined to live within a certain prescribed realm, and only able to excise free will within those conformities. No action can be made out of that predefined real, and any action made even within it is subject to many levels of unpredictability, leaving their resulting conclusion out of our hands. So what free will can a human being excise, knowing what he intends is exactly what will happen? Only the free will of emotions, feelings and thought is in the control of a human being and that is what The Woman in the Dunes shows time and again. Jumpei could control none of the situations he was put in, but time and again, he decided to make the best of his situation and ended up for the better of it. When he is cast into the sand dune with the young widow he is initially hostile and tries to hold the woman captive, but ultimately resigning himself to his fate, he builds a life for himself and ends up falling in love with the very same woman. Later on, when he tries and fails to escape, he loses the idea of leaving his situation and instead focuses on accepting and making the best of his surroundings, so much so that he ultimately fails to even leave. Of these feelings, the choice we most often have to make is that of acceptance. Acceptance is a two faced coin, one showing the face of happiness and comfort, the other showing a malicious and conniving smile. By accepting the situations life puts us in we make our lives more acceptable and manage to extract from them virtues and benefits that contribute towards our well being, but at the same time, we experience the crushing blow of defeat by understanding that we have yet again been dealt an unfavorable hand and then made to smile about it – worse yet, made to do it willingly, of our own accord, but in exact accordance to what we were so against. It is a two faced paradox of irony and it is what a human being battles every day of his life, that is, whether to accept defeat and settle down in happiness, or to fight on and suffer every minute for it. It is a battle that every human being has to fight, whether it was the widow in the movie, whether it was Jumpei, or whether it will ultimately be the villagers, who seem to have lived life out of the way of harm and unhappiness. Hence it can be said that to fight an unchangeable factor is only going to bring unrest and disturbance. Just like beating a brick wall is going to do no more than tire the beater, fighting against the situations we are put into will only result in discomfort and restlessness. It matters not who thrust who into the situation or whose fault it is. ...Show more


The Woman in the Dunes: A Reflective Essay The Woman in the Dunes is a multifaceted piece of work, examining a broad range of subjects and their underlying emotions and connotations. It examines in almost equal enterprise the nature of time, human beings as individuals and human beings as a society, but it ultimate focus seems to be on the nature of an individual, his different levels of behavior in reaction to the various situations he is placed in and the resignation of human beings to their fate…
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The Woman in the Dunes
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