Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

During this year in my English and World History courses, I found myself at many times integrating my choice career of psychology and various other aspects of behaviorism and psychoanalysis into whatever it was that I was writing. I found that as the class and myself began to cover more and more material, there became more and more opportunities for my work to be influenced by my love for the brain and the way people tend to think and act. Again, as the year progressed, I began to think on setting the topic of any work I did in History or English as almost exclusively related to the mind. Now, in retrospect, someone reading this who had never read previously read anything I’d written would more than likely begin to think that my work was very one-minded and repetitive. However, this dedication to relating our coursework to psychology also inspired me to incorporate many contrasting ideas into my coursework. 

Now with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the work that I churned out throughout this year that I thought best reflected the my reasoning in the above paragraph.

The first piece of work that I would like to delve into is both the start of my psychoanalytic-based essays and the most profound out of all other material in my opinion. Here’s a snippet of some analysis from my Lord of the Flies Essay: “His views on young boys and their insatiable desire to extirpate the restraints that their fathers place upon them, and the sinister being that all humans keep masked within the darkest reaches of their minds are both conspicuously exhibited in Lord of the Flies. In society, the insidious and immoral thoughts that our mind keeps repressed further envelops Freud’s rationales that our brain censors our dreams, so that we may not fully see what we really are at heart. A blood-thirsty creature with a sadistic and ominous nature that lives in all of us.” I feel that this quote, as well as the 4 others listed in this reflection, represents the way people change drastically in different environments based on mindsets and reactions to what they are surrounded by in said environment.

            Next up is one of the many journal entries we wrote during the school year.

This one was English Journal #26. The prompt was “Define privilege. What are some of the ways that privileges exist in the United States?” To which I replied, “Privileges are something you are granted, not something you are entitled to. They can be taken away.” I think that this also relates to my behaviorist and ethologist connections I make throughout my work. The different places you are, you are influenced to think differently, or in this case, take for granted what privileges you have.

            Now we can transition back to quotes form projects/essays. This is from my “Memory Poem” from our Poetry Unit.

Scoffing at curse words

Evolved into using them in conversations every day.

Learning about parables in Religion textbooks,

Being taught how to behave as young women.

Loving to be good,

Turned into loving drugs and debauchery.

"What did you get on your last English test?"

Turned in to "Which guy did you hook up with last?"

Yeah, those kind of girls.”

            This quote is a perfect example of ethology. The girls I used to associate with started to act certain ways to certain things. Like for example, chuckling at curse words when they were younger, to acting certain ways around boys they had crushes on. It all changes through maturity.

           Let’s now backtrack towards the poetry unit again. This time this quote is from my “Original Poem.” “A smile fills my features, increasingly more than fear envelopes my optics.” Now this is a very personal quote, and I am not the person to just open up about something personal, so I’ll do my best to have this make sense. When a person is in one environment for so long, a transition to an opposite environment can take a long time for the brain to react and start to adhere to the changed lifestyle. The visual representations of this are as said. I smile a lot more now than I have ever had before. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

            My last quote, but certainly not least, is a quote from World History Journal #40. The topic was Ghandi and the dispute of whether violence is more powerful than non-violence and vice-versa. We had to write a response paragraph to a passage we read about Ghandi’s views on non-violence. “Ghandi is saying in this passage that humans, just as an innate way of thinking, turn to violence.” What led me to make that conclusion was the way Ghandi spoke of how humans’ first instinct is turn to violence rather than non-violence. This also reinforces what Sigmund Freud that about us as humans. “The feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego is comparably more intense than that derived from sating an instinct that has been tamed. The irresistibility of perverse instincts, and perhaps the attraction in general of forbidden things, find an economic explanation here.”

            Not to say it has become a compulsion, but I generally do take a great deal of interest in incorporating psychology into whatever it is in literature that I analyze. This is what I feel is the best reflection of my work throughout the year in both classes.




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