vulnerABILITIES

by Vanessa Correia

Henry’s physicality:

5. & 6. I believe that Henry’s acne is his greatest asset and his greatest liability. As difficult as it is to face the mirror and see an endless population of swollen red sores, he does transform the experience into something educational, even if he doesn’t recognize it. He doesn’t have the “looks”, and thus he is treated differently by his peers, forcing him to seek other outlets through which he can connect with others. Acne made him strong; it made him honest and genuine. Without it, he probably would have been a ladies man early on, eventually losing his touch as the looks fade with the years. Henry was ugly from the get-go. He knew that he never had a shot for anyone to see him as physically attractive, so it led him to look deeper into himself to see what he had to offer to others. Writing, it turns out, was his outlet. I think it’s quite beautiful to imagine that his writing transformed pain and self-deprecation and agony into a masterpiece everyone can enjoy.

Henry’s inner life:

26. Henry’s greatest psychological weakness is his callousness. I feel as though he stands against the human condition itself, always trying to conceal the sad, passionate soul inside himself (note: bluebird poem). Even in his book, Bukowski only offers a few rare glimpses into his thoughts. He truly reminds me of a little kid inside a rugged and mature masculine form. He never had a childhood, never learned how to cope with the meanness in the world and inside himself, never learned how to confront his raw emotions and love his vulnerabilities.

15. Showing any sign of emotion is Henry’s greatest shame. As a result, he often acts robotically. It’s all just a facade, of course. No one can escape from the feelings welling up inside. No, not even the tough man himself.

11. Henry’s main ambition is to understand how he fits into his own life (note: spectacle). He can’t get along with others or himself. He is physically and emotionally wounded. He can’t undo the wounds, but strives to know how to accept them and understand how they shaped him (ex: Says that father beating him senseless taught him pain without reason).

Myself:

7. My greatest talent? Who the hell knows.

11. Up until recently, my greatest ambition was to leave a mark on the world, a legacy of sorts. I think it’s disgustingly selfish, really. The world doesn’t owe me anything, not even for my hard work. I feel like I owe it something with my hard work. That is what I strive to do, this is why I want to go to university and get a PhD and study people. I think every individual is important to every other individual. I believe in synergy; I want everyone to put forth their talents and make something beautiful. Perhaps it won’t be remembered, but it will have lead to something that was not inevitable ( I don’t believe in destiny). This really puts the weight on my actions and makes me want to be the best person I can be. I just want to die knowing I did something.

17. Greatest values: Honesty, character, liveliness

2. I have a pretty bad creative imagination. Maybe that’s why I like to study science. Science requires a different type of imagination. It requires imagination bound to knowledge and reason and little self-expression.

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