Reality is one of the basic notions in Philosophy. In Philosophy Now, Greg Studen affirms that the question about reality arises from human consciousness. “Our reflections on this lead us to wonder if we can know of the world beyond our perceptions – the underlying cause of our consciousness of appearances. This world of the underlying cause we call “reality”.
Actually, reality is perceived by means of personal emotions and feelings, namely what people think of themselves. That is the reason psychologists advise people to change their attitude to a problem if it is impossible to be solved. It is better illustrated on examples. In the situation of unemployment there are some ways of behavior – either to pity oneself and feel miserable or to find a new job, to change the working sphere or even to start one’s own business. It is up to a person to decide. In case of illness sometimes it is preferable to stay at home. Again, the easiest type of perception is suffering. Meanwhile there are a great number of vacancies which do not require office work. Speaking about women the mentioned difficult situation can become the beginning of strengthening relations within a family with a plenty of time spent together.
Humans should feel comfortable in the real world. If not, something has to be changed: either personal attitude or the whole situation. In spite of the tremendous quantity of problems in the world mankind keeps living and developing. Division into the rich and the poor existed in all times. Still happiness is not based on that criterion.
Thus philosophically the world consists of two components: an ideal concept and a common, sometimes unlpeasant reality. It is easily applied to the story All Over by Guy de Maupassant. While analyzing it one can clearly observe human transformation from one state to another due to change of emotions. The story describes a good trick – looking in the glass. Being glad and satisfied a person still sees a young person. On the contrary, feeling diasppointed the man notices an elderly bachelor with all the required old age indicators.
The story “All Over” by Guy de Maupassant is a narration about two people (Lormerin and Lise) who have not seen each other for twenty-five years. They loved each other in those early times, however their fate was to separate. Their meeting became the reason of Lormerin’s different perception of the real world.
The author begins it with a description of an elderly bachelor. Looking in the glass he is sure he has preserved his attractiveness and still looks handsome. A sudden letter changed his good moods completely. He could not believe his eyes that it was written by his youth’s love – Lise de Vance. A lot of reminiscences arose in front of him. She was very beautiful and he called her Ashflower because of her hair color. That was the time he was handsome and felt he could move the mountains. The idyl was ruined by her husband who took her in a village and did not let Lormerin meet her any more. God knows how many women have come in his life since that time.
This unexpected letter informed that she wanted to dine with Lormerin and to introduce her grown up daughter to him. Of course, he decided to accept the invitation. He got ready and chose his clothes with unusual scrutinity thinking about her beauty, his old times and their youth.
The first thing that impressed him was his own big portarait on the wall of the living room. That encouraged his memory to work even faster. He had been waiting for some time before a door opened and an old lady with grey hair came in. He kissed her hands several times and could not stop asking if it was really Lise. She was very glad to see him and admired his attractive look. Lise realised her beauty had gone already, but he looked still young. She said that meeting him somewhere in the street she could exclaim “Jaquelet” as she called him in old times.
At certain moment Lormerin inquired in his thoughts what he was doing in that house. They had nothing in common except their bygone days. He felt uneasy. However, after meeting her daughter Renee the challenge became even bigger. The girl resembled her mother to such extent that he could easily recognize his lover. He was pleased to look at her without turning to her old copy.
After coming home he came to the glass and admitted he also grew old. Inevitable age changes proved the supposition.
That dining caused two philosophical questions about human reality. There arose the necessity to define Lise’s real side and to state Lormerin’s individuality.
Looking at two similar women Lormerin asked: “Which is the real one?”. The young individual displayed all the characteristic features he liked. Expression of her eyes, turning of her head and hands movements were very familiar to the man. To feel her presence was a great comfort for him.
Still his consciousness told time passed and consequently his Lise grew older. At that moment she was an experienced woman with a number of wrinkles and a faded look. And that reality was ugly striking.
In my opinion the described perfect image of a woman was created in Lormerin’s mind. He was young and was in love. His positive emotions lay the basis for this picture. In fact, Lise was a usual woman with different drawbacks, but his enchanted consciousness did not notice them at that time. Twenty-five years passed, and the charm went away. He was not in love anymore, so he could see real Lise.
There arose Lormerin’s two perceptions of the reality. The first one comprised his attractiveness, strength, and blooming. The other sank him to the ground and showed his changes for the worse. It was unpleasant and made him suffer. Nobody ever wanted to stay in the place he felt pain. That is why Lormerin was eager to return to his better times and feel good. Thinking about his living strength Lormerin made some plans for the future and was satisfied with his life. Sudden realization of his real biological age caused him not only to feel bad but also displayed the end of his life course and absence of future at all. That was his greatest sorrow.
Thus, the transformation of his own personality perception was really connected with lived emotions that reveal positive or negative sides of the real world.
Thus, reality is something that reflects human state of mind. It is transferred through people’s consciousness, giving additional characteristics due to the emotions a person feels at a certain moment. Reality cannot be the same at different time stages. The same book read by a teenager and a middle-aged person is estimated from various points of view and, consequently, will be understood differently.
Problems and conflicts can be the obstacles for doing actions or can create the basis for moving forward. It is of common knowledge that optimists and pessimists are sure to die. However, the way they live is quite different. Sometimes a person is not able to change some life situation due to various factors. What really matters is its quality which is in one’s hands.
Biological age moves faster than human consciousness. It is evident when one looks at sportsmen. They train hard to achieve certain results. Still at some moment to do ordinary actions becomes difficult. The same concerns appearance. One may do the things he/she used to do many years. However, there is no ease and lightness because of the natural course of time.
In my opinion people should perceive reality patiently. One cannot stop the time, so it is necessary to try living with a new reality, new opportunities this gives a person, new ways to use one’s new state. Talking of age, it is impossible to overestimate huge experience accumulated during previous years, abundance of life examples and ways to perform the necessary procedure.
Thus, the way people perceive their age depends on their general perception of the world. Optimistic point of view makes life easier. It brings bright colors to an ordinary life situation, transforms one’s own faults into benefits adding ironical tint to any problem. It helps to admire simple things around everybody, like wonderful autumn leaves, stranger’s smile or clouds flow. Besides, laughter can stop straining any difficult conflict in a certain moment.
Lormerin takes himself differently due to different states he is in. At the beginning of the story All Over by Guy de Maupassant bright perception of the world makes his life full of sense. At the end of the narration he cannot see any brighter colors and notices only poor features of the reality. His genuine nature is in his mind.