Paper I wrote for an english class.
When a person has epiphany, they realize something and it changes them forever. In the movie “The Fisher King”, the character Jack has an epiphany when he realizes he must help Parry for Parry, not for himself. So he gets the “Holy Grail” not for himself but for someone else that he feels life that he had a negative effect on. I personally experienced an epiphany when my grandmother died and my grandfather moved in with me and my family. It made me realize that emotional connections people have are so strong that it can make some people have mental disorders and fall into a deep depression.
When my grandmother died a couple years ago, my grandfather was alone after a 60 year marriage with her. He was unable to take care of himself and he was forced into moving in with us. My parents made accommodations for him to help through one of the hardest times of his life. I realized that, when you have an emotional connection with someone as strong as they had, when it is ended in someway, it has a profound effect on the way you view the world and the other relationships you have with people. When she died he started out with a deep depression, threatening to kill himself, and even going as far as preparing a spot for his suicide to happen. The family got him through that and he saw that he needs to be her for his six children and many grandchildren. As his illness progressed, it moved into dementia. He had thought my grandmother was cheating on him, that she never wanted to be with him, and it went as far as him accusing me of stealing his pills. At one point when he was in the hospital, he was convinced that my father was on the upper of level of the hospital having his leg amputated. No one could convince him otherwise. After a year of going through this situation, we thought it would be better for him to live an assisted living facility; he now is doing much better, which made the decision much easier and let my family members not have that huge stress in our already stressful household.
This whole period of time changed me. I realized the importance of relationships in my life. It made me realize that connections that you build up with people are some of the most important things in this life. This whole situation makes me weary of relationships I create with people. I am friends with very few people, and I usually keep to myself, especially at school. Until my grandmother died I was trying to make friends with everyone and trying to make myself be the “Cool” person who knew everyone and that people were friends with. I know realize that having a few very close friends is more important to me that knowing a whole bunch of people and I don’t have to do things that please people just so I am liked. The whole situation made me realize how important relationships with people are. I also became a less selfish person; I realize the sacrifices that people make for the important people in their lives. My parents spent money making a room for him; they spent time taking him to doctor’s appointments and other things, and also spent time away from each other to care for this person.
In the movie “The Fisher King”, when Jack has an epiphany it changes the way he thinks and views everything. He went from only caring about himself, and doing things for himself, such as giving Parry money. He was also thinking about himself when he tried to get Parry with Lydia. He only wanted to do these things for Parry because he thought if Parry felt better; it would make himself feel better. Then after Parry went into the coma at the end of the movie, he went and got the “Holy Grail” for Parry, not himself. This ties in with me because after the epiphany I had, I realized that I should not be so concerned with how the whole situation affects me, but how it affects him. When he first moved in I thought that the whole thing was not going to be fun. I was thinking about myself and how it affects me. I wasn’t even thinking about how he felt or how much time my parents had to sacrifice to keep him at our house and try to keep him happy. I now have this great appreciation for how relationships affect the way people behave and act. It makes me less selfish and that I should do things for other people for them, not to make myself feel better about my life.
In the essay “Apology to Stephanie Stephenson”, he realizes that he made fun of this girl that was in one of his elementary classes. He joined in with the other kids because he wanted to become the popular kid. He was using her for his own selfish reasons. It relates to me because before this whole epiphany happened was pretty selfish myself. After this I have a greater appreciation for what my parents do for me. Later this year they are going to help me pay for college which will require some financial sacrifices on their part. My parents did many things for my grandfather to get him through this difficult time, epically my mother. While my Dad is working she would be on the phone all the time trying to organize appointments for him and get him the proper medication, and he wasn’t even her father. It should me how important relationships are and how people do anything for the people they care about. It shows me that I need to do things for other people and not myself. I now help my parents do whatever is needed and don’t complain about, they deserve all the help they can get.
I was thinking in a Machiavellian way. The ends justify the means (you will do whatever you have to do to get what you want). I didn’t care about what my parents had to do to get what I wanted. I just wanted them to do it and didn’t really respect the sacrifices they had to make to give me and my siblings what we needed and wanted. I would be lazy and sit in my room and expect things to be done for me. I now try to spend more time with my parents and I am now taking care of things myself such as getting all my college business organized without their help. I see that I need to do things for myself if I expect to be a successful adult. My parents need to focus on the things that need to be done for themselves, and I need to do things for myself because I am perfectly capable of it.
I also think I was going down Elliot’s theory of the “Downward Spiral”. I wasn’t doing things for myself, my parents did a lot of things for me, and I think in the overall picture hurt my development. I understand the fact that they wanted to help me as much as possible, but they should have forced me to do things by myself. If they would have kept going on like this I would have never known how to do anything by myself and I would have always been dependent on someone else. That’s why I think this epiphany is so important to me and my life. It really gave me a view on how I need to behave, and the things that I need to do so I can function as an adult. A person can not be babied and carried through their whole life. You can’t be a selfish person and expect things to be done for you by your parents.
If you think in the ways of Socrates to serve the common good, my parents were doing that by helping my grandfather. It shows me that the relationship you have with people makes you want to help them and serve the common good. It’s a cycle, you grow up, your parents get old, when they are old and crippled and not in a condition to help themselves, you serve them. You have to help them get through whatever is happening to them. Selfishness goes along with this. It shows me when my parents are older I can’t be selfish and only think about how helping them will effect my life. They helped me growing up, it’s time to help them for them, and I don’t want to help them for myself. I am going to help them because they deserve it for all the things that I, and other people have put them through.
Overall, my grandmother dying and grandfather moving in with my family was one of the most important events that have happened in my life. I did not realize it at the time he was living with us. But after, when I thought about it, it was one of the most profound moments of my life. It showed me not to be selfish, and it showed me the importances of relationships that people create with each other are.