The Social Experience: I went with these guys and they made the whole experience so much better. I know two of them from high school and another from my dorm; it's funny how the Good Life class creates chances for us to actually hang out together since we're all busy with classes and clubs. Before the play, we were scattered everywhere throughout campus due to our class and club schedules. However, we decided to meet up in front of the Constans Theater before the play and it was nice to see everyone together once again. Truthfully, we all thought the play was going to be boring and disappointing; yet, the play provoked our thoughts as we express our opinions of the characters and events after the play was over. Why did the mother do this? How could the church do that with its reputation? These are just some of the questions that took part in our conversation. In the end, the shared experience allows you express as well as take on others' point of views on the same subject. Part of good life is to teach and learn from other in order to better yourself.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: Having learned history, I knew that child labor, poor working conditions, and outrageous wage gap were all issues of the 1900's. However, what I didn't know was that how corrupted the church was as well as how poor of the working conditions in the factories are. The play portrayed the treacherous and artificial aspect of many priests in the church as well as the hazardous working conditions in the factories. I truly believed that the church has reformed after the Reformation and people enter the priesthood solely on their faith, not for personal reasons. The play allows me to see that enter priesthood may serve as an escape for people in the lower class; yet, at the same time, problems can arise when one is being forced into joining the church. On the other hand, I believed that the poor condition of working in a factory composed solely of dirty workplace and machines. However, having multiple people died within a few months is quite horrific, especially when some of those lives are children's. This angered me a bit as I asked myself why would some of the parents would allow their children to work under such conditions. Even so, if they put up with these conditions, their living conditions must be worse and for many of these workers, money can be an obstacle in obtaining the good life, just like today. Overall, the play changed my view of the church from being totally pure to devious and gave me another point of view on the conditions of the working class at the time. I'm a churchgoer and I truly hope that people today enter the priesthood and serve other solely based on their own will and faith. Furthermore, just like the working class at the time, money presents as a problem sometimes and there were many time I have struggled because of it.
The Emotional Experience: Throughout the whole play, I felt confusion, anger, happiness, sadness, disappointment, and excitement. Many issues as well as topics that were presented in the play provoked lots of thoughts and opinions from me and my friends. The biggest issue that I had was the corruption of the church. As a Catholic and frequent churchgoer, I did felt some anger as to how can someone present my belief such as this. To me, the church simplifies peace and purity as it's the place where one confesses his/her sins and be blessed. However, having learned history and knowing the human nature, not everyone is perfect. Not everyone enters the priesthood solely due to his belief and sometimes, personal advantages can be gained from joining the church. Especially during that time when there are very few opportunities for the lower class to gain money/power and the church was deeply respected by the people back then. Furthermore, the play also portrayed how some people of the church can abuse their power for personal gain, which was another uncomfortable thing for me to learn. Nonetheless, katharsis comes in as I accept the truth, no one or nothing is perfect and sometimes the reality can be harsh.
- Gorzen, Alex. Flickr. Tie-Dye, 2006, www.flickr.com/photos/55476234@N00/280288575. Accessed: 28 Jan. 2017.
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- PublicDomainArchive. Pixabay, 2014, pixabay.com/en/child-labor-boy-carriage-historic-349989. Accessed: 29 Jan. 2017.
- My picture