In the novel, “A Tale of Two Cities”, Charles Dickens says that the era of the French Revolution was an era of paradox. He also says that the period was so far like the present period. This mean that our era isn’t that different than the period of the French Revolution. This means that our era is also an era of paradox. The reasons why I believe that our era is also an era of paradox is that we have more, but are grateful less; we have more knowledge, but less judgment; and we have done larger things, but not better things. I believe that our era is also an era of paradox because we have more, but are grateful less. An example of this would be the larger houses we now have. Due to these larger houses, families are drifting apart. In the past, families of five or even seven children would all live in a three bedroom apartment. These families were as close as ever, they depended on each other. Now that everyone is moving into larger houses, these families are becoming more distant to one another. These larger houses may seem amazing because of how many bedrooms it has or how much space there is, but it is also breaking the families that live in it. Since there is more space, the siblings aren’t always in each others shadows anymore. The siblings also don’t need to depend on each other as often because they are all in different parts of the house doing their own thing. Another example of this would be the expansion of infrastructure. We are building more highways and submissions which is giving others a better, more comfortable way of living. However; because we are continuing to expect more, infrastructure is destroying what used to be.
We are losing our natural resources and our farms from which our food comes from. In the past, we would be able to just walk down to the farm to pick up our groceries, now we have to drive to the grocery store however miles away to buy even a carton of milk. This is why I believe that our era is also an era of paradox. I believe that our era is also an era of paradox because we have more knowledge but less judgment. An example of this is the destruction due to technology. With technology constantly changing, there is no end to what we can do. Although this sounds amazing, we are forgetting that technology has caused many problems, from global warming to health problems like myopia and cancer. We are exposed to x-rays with TV’s, computers, and other technology. Although many say technology makes looking up information and communicating with people a breeze, whatever you are doing on the computer, radiation is still emitted. Another example of this is the impact of technology on children. We live in a world of iPads, flat screen televisions, smart phones, GPS navigation systems, electric cars, and the Internet. Children now are growing up in the fast-moving digital age. Now, toddlers can learn to count, learn to say the ABCs, learn to draw, learn their first words and recognize animal sounds, all on the iPad. At the touch of a screen, you can download all kinds of applications for your child. It is amazing, and a little scary. They are growing up learning to use a smart phone before they can even talk. The problem with this is that children have been introduced to many technological devices that is potentially pushing them into solitude. This is an alarming trend that has developed with the advent of the 21st century. Technology has taken over human lives. The younger generation nowadays would rather sit at home and chat with their friends over the Internet rather than going out and making new friends or playing with their existing friends. Whereas twenty or thirty years ago, children use to past their time in the sandbox and put on puppet shows for their parents. This is why I believe that our era is also an era of paradox. I believe that our era is also an era of paradox because we’ve done larger things but not better things.
For example, today, we enjoy a much safer, uncontaminated food supply, and a far more varied diet, than our parents and grandparents did. This has produced successively taller, sturdier, and healthier generations in this century. In addition, fortifying food with various nutrients, such as iodine added to salt and B vitamins added to flour, has prevented hundreds of thousands of cases of debilitating disease, and has done so in a manner that requires little or no effort from the people who benefit. However, while scientists discover how to modify our foods, we can’t even figure out how to stop poverty. It’s great that our nutrition has become safer to eat, but in some countries, people have no food at all. I believe that helping stop poverty and helping these poor countries receive even a loaf of bread is more important then spending months on how to figure out what chemicals to add to certain foods to make it more “safe”. Another example is how we have gone to the moon and back but yet, we can’t even say hello to our new neighbor.
Going to the moon is a great thing because it helped us discover so many things about our universe and has pursued scientific activities that address fundamental questions about the history of Earth, the solar system and the universe – and about our place in them. However, if we are able to do all this, why can’t we do something as simple as saying hello to our new neighbor. I believe that this is because we are too busy’ to make ourselves known to those who live nearest to us, or because others fear they will ‘have nothing in common’. Also, many of us treat our neighbors like ‘caretakers’ -calling on them only when they need something. There is not one thing about this that is okay. This is why I believe that our era is also an era of paradox. I believe that our era is also an era of paradox because we have more, but are grateful less; we have more knowledge, but less judgment; and we have done larger things, but not better things. As Charles Dickens says in his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”, that the period was so far like the present period. This means that our era isn’t that different then the era of the french revolution. Even though it was many years ago, our era is also an era of paradox. We as humans are still doing things we believe is helping our society but is also destroying it at the same time. Therefore, no matter the era, our periods stay the same, more or less.
Saint Francis Xavier C.H.S
Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities”
Essay- How is our era also an era of paradox?
Submitted to: Mr. Hamilton
Submitted by: Christina Moskovic
Date Due: September 9th, 2013