Essay Example on People have grappled with the question of Destiny









From the beginning of time to the present day people have grappled with the question of destiny and whether we choose our own paths The idea that a stranger can completely alter our course of life has been a question of the ages and something almost every religion has tried to answer In Colum McCann s Let the Great World Spin the concept of two people or more crossing paths and somehow profoundly affecting each other s lives is explored throughout the novel using a multi perspective narrative The characters connect via chance encounters unexpected circumstances and relationships that defy cultural and racial boundaries and all of it traces back to the day when a man walked a tightrope in between the Twin Towers in 1974 The elements of compassion and empathy are also important to the narrative and serve to separate and connect characters to one another at different times This creates a complex web of humanity that is held together by the event of The Walker and the little tentative bonds made between people who might not otherwise have known each other or had much in common The Walk demonstrates how an event can bring multiple storylines together across space and time and fundamentally intertwine the lives of several people from different walks of life 

One of the ways in which the characters in Let the Great World Spin are connected is through a capacity for compassion and empathy or lack thereof Lara for instance is a morally complicated character because on the day Corrigan and Jazzlyn were killed she was in the car that rear ended them and didn't call for help upon seeing the damage However her guilt towards the crash and actions to make reparations demonstrate her depth for compassion and is therefore able to connect her with the greater mosaic of people in the book On the day of the accident although Lara wasn't driving she was still in the car and despite the danger made the decision to be driven back by her husband who was stoned and hungover from their previous bender At first in the moment immediately after the crash when they drove up to where the car had spun out to survey the damage and Lara heard the sirens she chose self preservation instead of calling for help and told her husband Blaine to Come on let's go quick get in Blaine quick get a move on McCann p 118 because he was still outside looking at the car Initially this makes her seem unsympathetic and careless because she does nothing to help the people she just hit She could have called for help but instead she chooses to get herself and Blaine away from the scene of the crime to avoid any consequences In this moment Lara acts rather indifferently and is completely unsympathetic to anyone but herself 

However Lara is so distraught by the fact that she had a role in the deaths of two innocent people that eventually she decides to go out and atone for her wrongs She goes to the hospital to try to find Corrigan and then upon finding out about his death decides to accompany his brother Ciaran to Jazzlyn s funeral It is here that Lara admits it was her car that caused the accident and thus takes responsibility for her role in Corrigan and Jazzlyn s deaths In this way Lara attempts to express remorse for her previous senseless actions and demonstrates empathy towards the grieving families of the people her car killed Her later response to the crash and efforts to make amends humanize her and connect her with Ciaran who although initially upset that she didn t first call for help ultimately asks her out for a drink and the two later kiss at the bar In contrast her actions separate her from her husband Blaine who not only was driving but upon surveying the accident his despair was directed at the car and our unsold canvases and what would happen to us shortly

McCann p 118 not at the fact that he had just killed two people Blaine's response really speaks to his callousness and self centered personality because even upon seeing the death and destruction he caused all he can think about is making a name for himself in the art world and how the crash would affect his image He is so hyper focused on his own success that he is blind to anything beyond his own priorities This selfishness makes him stand out as a character and later costs him his marriage to Lara The question of compassion in the chapter A Fear of Love suggests that compassion and empathy are the pillars of human connection and unity In the case of Lara and Blaine the lack of compassion on Blaine s part is what undoes his relationship with Lara because she cannot stand to be with someone so self absorbed anymore The fact that he not only caused the deaths of two innocent people but also when they drove up to the crash site he only cared about the damage done to his car This drives an impenetrable wedge between him and Lara and effectively closes him off from the broader world

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