Individual Reality Essay

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Because all individuals possess different sets of experiences and perspectives, their individual realities, or their interactions with and responses to their surroundings, differ accordingly. While the outside reality that exists independently from human interaction remains consistently unaffected by individuals’ perceptions, one’s individual reality can change and shift as a result of changes in perception that can be triggered by events, relationships, and interactions with others. Leslie Bell’s “Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom,” Oliver Sacks’s “The Mind’s Eye,” and Martha Stout’s “When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It Was Friday” collectively address this idea that the realization of individual realities…show more content…
In Leslie Bell’s “Hard to Get,” Bell discusses Alicia’s childhood experiences that skewed her perception of families and, by extension, the portion of her individual reality that concerned her family when Bell states, “The stability, structure, and love of a traditional family seemed to afford all of the experiences Alicia herself lacked in her upbringing. A traditional family became the solution to the problem of instability in Alicia’s mind. And being a good girl was the strategy Alicia adopted to enable her to have a traditional family… [and] a good man who would treat her well” (39). In other words, because Alicia was deprived of a stable “traditional family” as a child, she decided that she would adopt the approach of becoming a “good girl” to achieve such a family during her adult life. It can be inferred from the wording of the first sentence of the passage that Alicia viewed her family as the antithesis of a “traditional family” while she was growing up because her family was unable to provide her with “the experiences” and “the stability, structure, and love” that she desired. This skewed her perception of her own family in addition to shaping her individual reality to such an extent that she created a strategy of interacting with the world, “being a good girl,” solely to eventually achieve a “traditional…show more content…
Because such an individual reality is skewed to a greater extent, it is entirely possible that it will differ drastically from the outside reality that exists independently from human biases and perceptions. In her essay “When I Woke Up Tuesday,” Martha Stout highlights how traumatic experiences negatively shift individuals’ perspectives and, by extension, their individual realities when Stout states, “Later on in [an] individual’s life, in situations that are vaguely similar to trauma… trauma may be “remembered” … when there is no hazard worthy of such alarm. In reaction to relatively trivial stresses, the person traumatized long ago may truly feel that danger is imminent again, be assailed full-force by the emotions [and] bodily sensations… that once accompanied great threat” (422). When making this comment, Stout is pointing out that the impacts of traumatic events remain with a person throughout his or her life and can even dictate one’s responses to the outside reality during certain occurrences. Because trauma lingers in a person’s subconscious even after it has occurred, it has the ability to warp one’s perception of “relatively trivial stresses” and cause one experience his or her individual reality with “the emotions [and] bodily
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