The Brain Is Who We Are

January 5, 2008
By Max Silvia, Park City, UT

“Whatever any man does he first must do in his mind, whose machinery is the brain. The mind can do only what the brain is equipped to do, and so man must find out what kind of brain he has before he can understand his own behavior” (Gay Gaer Luce and Julius Segal from Sleep, 1966) The people who read this may find it funny that one of the authors names have the words Gay in them, I know I did. Madder not of their names, but who they were. You can see that they truly know what kind of brain they have. They are exactly right with the quote, anyone who understands the brain can see what behavior they have. Also, any man or woman that has ever read a quote can see that they believe that the brain is who we are. Some people think the heart is involved, but truly it is the brain who tells us who we are.

In the book Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon ants to be like everyone else, and he is willing to have an operation preformed on him to try to gain intelligence. The operation is successful; Charlie Gordon slowly increases in intelligence. Not only is he gaining intelligence, but he is starting to feel emotions that he never felt before. “I don’t understand why I never noticed how beautiful Mrs. Kinnian really is” (Keyes 214). The quote listed shows that Charlie Gordon can feel emotions. Not only love but hate. In the book he feels hate when he really finds out that his friends aren’t really his friends. Charlie Gordon’s operation on his head changes not only his intelligence but his emotions, and the way he acts, thus proving that the brain is who we are.

Another way the theme is shown in my own life is when I moved to Utah. Before I lived in Park city, Utah I lived in Bend, Oregon. In Bend, Oregon people act, and think differently. When I moved I still acted like I was in Bend and was thought as a weird kid because the way I acted. I tried to fit in so I decided to change my appearance. When I changed my appearance I started to get more friends, but I still knew I was still thinking like I lived in Bend. It was until 7th grade until I was actually almost a Utah kid and was included more. But I still have trait from every state that I lived in and that will never leave my brain. When I first moved my brain was on being a regular Bend kid and after the first year it started to be more like what they act here Utah but still not fully, so it was only till 7th grade until I was in Utah mode. I found out that hanging around Utah kids was making me more like a Utah kid and that it change the way I acted because it changed my brain, and even though I act like Utah kid I still have traits from bend that will carry on my life till I die that will help me get jobs and be productive.

Another example of this strong theme is in the Marvel movie Spider-man 3. In Spiderman 3 a new power takes over peter Parker changing his thoughts. The poison is a power that can alter ones thoughts to bad by changing their brain. In the move Peter is taken over by it and ends up trying to make Mary Jane jealous, but results in tragedy when he hits her when fighting with the bouncers. After the scene Peter Parker goes to a Church and decides to ripe his self clean by taking off the suit. When he finally takes off the suit he is put back to his normal self. When he takes off his suit it changes brain back to the normal Peter Parker. Spiderman’s alter ego changes him only by Poison, but we aren’t Spiderman, the brain in what conquers all and can change a man to do great and terrible things demonstrating that the brain is who we are.

This strong theme can not only be found in Flowers for Algernon, but it can also be found in the book Holes. In the book holes you can easily see that Stanly is a nice caring person, but Mr. Sir is a brutal and shallow. The reason why these people act the way they do is because of their life experiences. Also it can not only be seen in just Stanly and Mr. Sir but everyone. Everyone acts a different way because there life experiences and the way they were brought up. To conclude that when you have an event that is life changing for you, it changes the brain thus changing you. Even in this book you can see the theme the brain is who we are.

Some people can debate on what part tells us who we are; the brain or the heart, but I strongly believe that the brain is who we are. In the book Flowers for Algernon, and Holes you can see that these people lives were affected by surgery of the brain or life experiences causing the brain to change. To affect, it not only changed their brain but who they were. Another example of this is in the movie Spider-man 3. Spider-man’s brain was altered by venom and caused him to change who he was. Not only is in movies and books but also in the real world. I have stated before what my life experience was and how they changed me to be the person I am today. It not only takes surgery to change a man but it can also take life changing moments in one’s life, thus proving that the brain is truly who we are.

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