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People Wear Masks
The theme “People wear masks” is evident in my own life. Here’s a time I remember well. There was a time when I went to summer camp, not to far from my house. At times it was fun, but not all the time. There was a teenager named Derek there as a counselor, he was a jerk. At first he looked like the nicest one there, and another counselor there looked like he wanted to hurt me, but he was the nicest, and Derek was just bad. I believed he was a good example because he had this great attitude at the beginning, he was nice to my parents and I thought he was awesome, then my parents left. He had a vocabulary consisting of about seven words, all bad. I was 9 or 10 then so I didn’t quite understand, but I knew they weren’t good. He stole food, and hurt bodies. Since I’ve been more aware that people aren’t what they seem.
Masks are often worn by those who are undecided about themselves, this is shown in Flowers for Algernon often. Charlie, a mentally challenged man, had once believed that people were always what they appear to be. No more, no less. That is until after the operation which triples his IQ. “No one I’ve ever known is what he appears to be on the surface.” (368 Keyes) In Flowers for Algernon Dr. Nemur has a larger than ordinary IQ, but not quite as much as Charlie after the operation. “Contrary to my earlier impressions of him I realize Dr. Nemur is not at all a genius. He has a good mind, but it struggles under the specter of self-doubt.” (367 Keyes). Charlie would’ve once believed Nemur was a genius, but not once he surpasses him. He then learned that people are never what they seem.
Even in books, people and even things can be deceiving. The book Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison has content of mask wearing things and people. For example Graulas the demon was dying and pretended to be innocent but then when he was healed by a teapot that can heal almost any wound, he wrecked havoc. “Hang on, I’m here to heal you.” Striding over Seth opened the teapot over the dying demon... Graulas pounced on him, seized a shoulder and lifted him effortlessly.” (kindle location 2408-19)
After that he learned that anything will wear a mask to get what they want.
I see masks worn in the movie The Prestige. The movie is about two magicians that get back at each other, and constantly wear disguises. “He's perfect. He needs some work, but when I get through with him, he could be your brother... I don't need him to be my brother, I need him to be me!” (The Prestige) The masks worn here aren’t so obvious, if you saw this movie, you would know that a dunk actor needs to be a magician’s double in a trick, it’s used for the entertainment.
Masks are also worn for war. The ancient Greek Odysseus ordered a large wooden horse to be built so that Troy would take it in as a gift. But little did Troy know that they would be slaughtered that night by soldiers that hid inside. “Once the statue had been built by the artist Epenis, a number of Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the fleet sailed away as to deceive the Trojans. (http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html) Perhaps wearing masks was invented for war.
In the early paragraph of this essay I had told you about the mean counselor who wears masks in the presence of superiors. To continue, once we were playing dodgeball and he actually kicked a kid. He had to be the worst counselor ever. But as soon as the first parent came he threw on his mask and everyone thought he was great, I knew better. I actually saw him after, about a year ago (2009) and he was a collage student, and he had visibly matured and mentally, he would still wear masks for sure. But he didn’t do it for bad things quite as much. You don’t have to use masks for bad things.
All in all, we’ve seen that people wear masks for: war, money, entertainment, to get what they want, and masks can be good and bad. People have to wear masks, it’s not a choice. Everyone’s masks are differing to their situation, it’s adaptive. Nobody is what they seem.
"History of the Trojan War." Stanford University. Web. 03 Nov. 2010. <http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html>.
Keyes, Daniel. Literature, Language, and Literacy. Flowers for Algernon. Ed. J. Woodson. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. 345-80. Print.
Chapter / Anthology
Mull, Brandon, and Brandon Dorman. Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison. [Salt Lake City, Utah]: Shadow Mountain, 2010. Print.
The Prestige. Dir. Christopher Nolan. 2006. DVD.