April 6, 2008

The Option of Shallowness

If deepness* can lead to such disastrous consequences, what then shall we do? The option of shallowness** beckoned to several characters in literature.

First, let us examine the life of Dmitri, the eldest brother in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. He was one of the sensualists, yielding readily to his desires. Hot-tempered, impatient, and wild, he cared little for his future. His one aim was to have the girl Grushenka. Any happiness he reached from his actions was short-lived. His unwillingness to consider the consequences of his actions earned him a bad reputation, which eventually led him to be accused of murdering his father. This accusation was an error, but the court's decision was never reversed.

The next character we inspect comes from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. One man, Augustine St. Clare, acts merely on his beautiful, saintly daughter Evangeline's requests. St. Clare does not spend time thinking about his future. He shuns spiritual discussion and refuses to have clear-cut views on slavery. He doesn't think what problems his actions may cause. When Eva dies, St. Clare is devastated. Uncle Tom (his slave and the protagonist of the book) tries to bring St. Clare to Christ, but death takes St. Clare first. Life is too short to allow to be shallow!

Have you watched either of The Princess Diaries? Princess Mia is silly, immature, and inestimably shallow. She relies on her feelings to make decisions, looks to her emotions to choose her future husband. She turns away from wise counsel, choosing instead to do what feels right. Her chief virtue, apparently her "heart of gold," translates merely into kindness to cute kids. (Naturally, wealth and beauty don't count as virtues.) Mia's immaturity and shallowness cause her great embarrassment and serve to put a bad face on her country. Hers is not the character we should strive to emulate! Sadly, girls across America choose this shallow character as their role model.

By looking into the lives and struggles of Mitya, St. Clare, and Mia, we see the results of choosing the option of shallowness, both on the characters themselves, and on the lives of those around them. People are always watching us. As Christians, our lives are to be beyond reproach. Clearly, we cannot fully serve Christ when our lives are shallow.

Continued in Part 3: The Answer to the Dilemma.

*By popular demand, the most relevant definitions...
Deepness:

Difficult to penetrate or understand; recondite: a deep metaphysical theory.
Of a mysterious or obscure nature: a deep secret; ancient and deep tribal rites.
Very learned or intellectual; wise: a deep philosopher.
Of a mysterious or obscure nature: a deep secret; ancient and deep tribal rites.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

The intellectual ability to penetrate deeply into ideas [syn: astuteness]
(WordNet)

**
Shallowness:

Lack of depth of knowledge or thought or feeling [syn: superficiality]
(Wordnet)

2 comments:

magistra said...

Waiting for the answer to the dilemma!

Serfy said...

I totally agree with your presentation of Princess Mia. I re-watched both movies recently and was amazed at how shallow they were.

Eagerly awaiting Part 3! =)