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'Puzzle maker - Dom Cobb' - University of Chicago Essay Option 3

dmjackson 3 / 6  
Dec 29, 2011   #1
By all means please tear this essay apart and be harsh about it. Thank You in Advanced
Essay Option 3: Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote, 'Between living and dreaming there is a third thing. Guess it.' Give us your guess..
Living and dreaming are two very contrasting actions. You could draw tons of Venn diagrams trying to find similarities between the two, but I doubt you'll find what you are looking for. The last option would be to somehow combine the two together as one. The thing between living and dreaming is the point where you have to question whether you are living or dreaming, or in other words, being stuck in a surreal moment.

We are all familiar with The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy runs away from home and takes an adventure through an unusual land. She encounters a sack of talking straw known as The Scarecrow, an entire sculpture of metal who wants a heart, known as The Tin Man, and the king of the jungle who is afraid of the jungle itself, otherwise known as the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy's mission is to get home. Dorothy and her peculiar crew go through the adventure fighting through flying monkeys and cackling green witches to get to the wizard. By the end of her journey, Dorothy wakes up to be told that it was all just a dream. Even the audience is convinced that Dorothy must have been dreaming but Dorothy doesn't take this for an answer, she knows this event has taken place, or does she? In 2011 back in Kansas Dorothy, now an elderly woman constantly analyzes and questions what it was she had experienced. The next thing to consider is how can we feel, physically and emotionally, if we are only dreaming? We have to be doing both at the exact same time.

The next person that takes on this puzzle is the puzzle maker himself: Dom Cobb. He takes ideas to another level known as Inception. His strategy is to play with people's subconscious ideas to the point where it causes an affect in their conscious minds, but before he created these puzzles he forgot to mention how dangerous the outcome of the situation can be. For example, while in a dream or inception, Dom must use a spinning top to figure out if he is alive or dreaming. The top spins without stopping if he is still dreaming but if he isn't dreaming the top stops, verifying his question. The point here is that Dom can get so deep into people's subconscious mind, that they are unsure of which one is life and which one is the dream. It is almost as if your conscious mind is lost in your subconscious mind.

Whether you need a spinning top to make sure you are living or, you need a friend to keep you awake because a man in a green and red Christmas sweater with razor sharp knives on his right hand is out to get you, being between a dream and your life is still a mystery; aside from all of the dreams, there are moments where you experience an event that is surreal and you must try to wake yourself as if you were asleep but you really weren't. When you were a young child, I am sure you had the dream of your parents taking you to Disney World. Then that one day hits you, you are at Disney World staring Mickey and Minnie straight in the eye with awe because you cannot believe you are seeing what you are seeing. For a split second, your mind goes blank, your eyes dilate, and your soul snaps back into place. "You are here," is what you tell yourself. You snap back and enjoy your moment, the moment you thought you'd never see.

Some events can appear more surreal than others that leave you permanently stuck in between living and dreaming. There is nothing like seeing a classmate on a Friday, like every other Friday, logging into Facebook on a Saturday morning to find out that that classmate has died, and returning to class on a Monday to a piercing silence and your classmate's empty seat. You go through a couple of days trying to justify, trying to wake up, but you can't wake up because you are very well awake. At this point in your conscious mind, it is almost as if you were dreaming they were alive and you are desperately trying to remember what the dream of them being alive was like while stuck in the reality of something that you wish was only a dream. There, you don't know which one is real. You don't believe your mind. You don't believe your eyes.

If you could just imagine how surreal some events can appear to people you too would question if it is real or not. Try putting your feet in the shoes of a witness of the 9/11 attacks, watching a building that stands stories high crumble down with fire and ease. Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of an African-American who has watched his or her friend or relative be lynched and burned because of the color of their skin. The most horrible of events are the very last things we want to dream about, but when they have been lived, it is difficult to believe that it had ever been lived and if they were to happen to you, you too would question in that split second if you were dreaming or living.
luvicemocha 2 / 20  
Dec 29, 2011   #2
Maybe is just because is late and I'm tired.. I mean I love the essay but I just couldn't figure out what the 3rd thing between dreaming and living is. Did I just missed it?
pjw7109 7 / 23  
Dec 30, 2011   #3
The beginning line kinda sounds cliche
but overall, i like it!

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