Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tragic Ambivalence

In class on Wednesday we were talking about tragic ambivalence, or the simultaneous attraction and repulsion that we feel when watching other people's tragedies. I wanted to share my thoughts in class on this "perverse attraction" we supposedly feel, but I didn't get a chance to. So here goes!

My theory on this is that people are attracted to watching the sorrows of others because unconciously, we like to be reminded of just how lucky we are. However, I think this is only applicable when we are viewing the tragedies of people unrelated to ourselves. For example, if your own father was fired from his job, you would certainly not be attracted to this crisis. However, if a friend's father was fired, you would feel bad but grateful at the same time because it didn't happen to you.

I enjoy watching heavy, dramatic movies because they always give me a new insight on life and make me appreciate things that I used to overlook. I wouldn't ever wish for tragic things to happen to others, but in a sense they do have a positive consequence because they open others' eyes. Like people always say, the good things in life wouldn't be so good if there weren't the bad things in life (something like that).

What do you guys think?

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