Essay on `` Sea Oak `` By George Saunders

Essay on `` Sea Oak `` By George Saunders

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Society tends to encourage virtuous qualities such as kindness, patience and optimism, indeed, these are virtuous qualities that could make up potential leaders and role models. But, the irony is that in some circumstances virtues can become a hindrance not just to yourself, but the people around you as well. This happened to Aunt Burnie, a gentle caretaker of the narrator and two girls Min and Jade, in George Saunders’ “Sea Oak”. Due to burglary, Aunt Burnie’s life came to an end, but due to strange circumstances she was resurrected. This resurrection changed her completely Aunt Burnie was no longer her pleasant self but full of spite and anger due to her life experiences and her compensation in death. Though she worked hard and was complacent with her impoverished life, reality slapped her across the face with some hard truth that passivity gets you nowhere in life. Therefore, when she is resurrected she becomes cruel, but is able to advise the Narrator, Min and Jade on how to improve their current situation of life in a repugnant way. By resurrecting Aunt Burnie, Saunders reveals that living passivity does not achieve happiness, but instead becomes a hindrance not only the advancement of a better life, but to those around you and sometimes the only way to help is through loathsome means.
Aunt Burnie before was always perceived as the picture of virtuous she was kind, patient, optimistic, and passive, however, it seems her virtuous qualities affected others as well.. When Aunt Burnie was introduced, she walked in to Min and Jade arguing with each other while the children were crying she easily calmed down the situation and was described as by the narrator, “Aunt Burnie 's a peacemaker. She doesn 't like trouble.” This quote sho...


... middle of paper ...


...live a safer life.
Passivity is never a means to the ends, life is a cruel reality and being complacent of a current situation will not change anything for the better even if you hope with all your might. Saunders always meant for Aunt Burnie to be a good role model, but at a different perspective. Someone who is kind, patience, complacent, and most of all passive during horrible circumstances will never see any changes or improvements in their life. Though Saunders doesn’t out rightly say that these virtues are bad he only implies that though these virtues are great to have sometimes you need to induce fear or radical worldly views to see changes. Through hard circumstances, virtues are only an obstacle, a hindrance that only can cause you to become complacent of your surroundings and those around you but if you changing your views of the world changes will happen.

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