Illusions and Imagination against Adversity

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The five sense, sight, smell, sound, taste, touch and the ability to hear. When anyone mentions these, connotations are associated with each of these as memories following each enter one’s mind. When someone stumbles upon a new sense it is automatically embedded in the memory. People constantly reflect on those memories and past experiences to help cope with present events and issues.Illusions and imagination are used as a buffer towards adversity, and those who take on these behaviours develop an explicit identity as a result of their reaction to said adversity.

Whether one knows it or not, creating illusions and having a permanente sense of innocence is a true part of ones identity. However, it is when someone’s own identity is formed; through the experiences that follow after we have used our illusions and misinterpretations as weapons. It is human nature to hold on tightly to the positive experiences we have had and the things we know for sure, in fear of not knowing, or perhaps being uneducated in the grand scheme of society. Some people are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent this.

People can easily shut out what they do not want to hear or see. One can use their imagination and creativity to their full extent to manipulate the experience, and change it into something one can easily accept, with the knowledge that it will duplicate the past. The situation then becomes a false impression; a non-permanent fantasy as a solution for an permanent memory. In the poem The Stricken Children, the verses “The Wishing Well was a spring/bubbling clear and soundless into a shallow pool/less than three feet across, a hood of rocks/protecting it…” the author, Denise Levertov gives the idea of a childhood that is turned into a memory which is kept throughout their teen years, and even adulthood, absolutely unaltered, up until the point of a hopeful return.

As time passes, the brain, without even knowing it blinds itself to envision any horrible outcomes to the person or place that makes the memory significant. The memory is kept as untouched and unpolluted as the spring bubbles clear, and protected from any and all changes just as the hood of rocks protects the spring. This is the illusion. This is the brains attempt to comfort itself in knowing that it is out of harm’s way from the punches of adversity in everyday life, and with the state of the person or place becoming permanent in the memory, this results in one believing the cliché that some things never change; an attempt at seeking comfort.

Playing the innocent card is one of many techniques, in order to deal with adversity. Initially, when one encounters such adversity, memories that deal with similar matters to the hardship at hand are brought to mind. The brain knows how it should cope with adversity, however it would become a difficult situation with a detailed and complicated outcome. If it purposely sets its’ knowledge aside and disregards its’ ability to deal with the problem, the brain can then easily pardon itself from directly dealing with the situation with the excuse of ‘not knowing’ the issue.

It attempts to creep around the problem without ever actually facing it. Innocence is powerful and often a misused tool. Denise Levertov depicts how simple it is to access and take advantage of such a tool in when he stated, “Children who don’t dream, or dismiss/their own desires and/toss them down, discarded packaging?” Children who toss their desires and dreams down the drain in disregard are the unfortunate souls who have early and easily been given access to certain opportunities. If a child is old enough to have detailed and developed dreams, hopes and wishes, it means that they have outgrown their sense of childhood innocence. What comes along with this, however, is the realization that there are barriers, choices, and adversities in life that come between one and their ambitions and goals. Adversity will hit you out of nowhere; harder than you think.

And it will come out of nowhere, knock you over and leave you all alone with nothing but your own willpower to pick yourself up and try again. Furthermore, when we see others’ knocked down, and surrendering themselves to innocence, we do nothing but continue on forward with our own ignorant selves, trying to erase the image of the unfortunate, helpless soul from our memory. Just as the voice in this particular poem, once being faced with the dissatisfaction of a broken illusion, one walks away, fast.

One walks away from the negative alterations made of a cherished memory. But not with the intention of renewing the memory or altering an illusion, but with the intention of pretending it never even happened, and pretending that their mind had never been contaminated with such horrendous things. Ignorance is also a frequently used weapon and its damage does not get enough exposure. It indirectly fights with adversity, and allows people the ability to “unsee” or “unhear” the things that one wishes they had not experience.

Memories develop and form each person’s viewpoints and opinions. When there are forces that threaten to change and alter these memories for the worse, illusions, innocence and ignorance are brought forward to fight the battle as the brain shifts away from the tragedies and adversities that the real world brings. The comfort and security connected to and felt towards the past are kept safe with the fear that the evil and cruel side of the world might contaminate a happy memory.

With so much negativity in the world, the easiest, most accessible weapons used to protect the positivity built to counteract the negativity are illusions, innocence and ignorance. In the poem, this idea is expressed through the untouched and preserved memory of the clear stream, and the worry covered up with ignorance and disbelief as the narrator slowly moves on once realizing the illusion is shattered and infected by today’s society.


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Illusions and Imagination against Adversity. (2021, Feb 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/illusions-and-imagination-against-adversity/

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