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MUST READ-17yr old wrote this essay

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posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 03:32 AM
High School student is given the task of writing an essay; he excels:

My Pride and Joy: by Luke Reiley

Original (FIXED)

and for the short of time (pls read real version it does him justice w/o truncation)


In his essay, “Toys”, Roland Barthes describes how toys are a reflection of the progression of modern society as a whole, as well as how contemporary toys affect the social atmosphere. He speaks of chemical syntheses used to manufacture these items as well as how this analogous to political and social movements.

Throughout the last century, toys have become increasingly socialistic in their nature. Creative toys such as simple wooden building blocks are now quite scarce, whereas toys with prescribed uses or functions have become the accepted norm. Toys such as dolls and plastic soldiers can hardly be used for any purpose except that for which they were designed – to be nurtured, and to fight, respectively.

When children are exposed to roles such as this at an early age, it has a profound effect upon their minds. The advent of the assembly line in the early twentieth century clearly demonstrates the decreased creative functionality in the average person’s work place which has rapidly declined since the Industrial Revolution.

Politics has not been spared from this shift in paradigm; modern politics are a tangled mess of deceit void of ethical principles. Barthes primarily uses wood, metal, and plastic to analyze the multiple aspects of modernized life. Wood – a natural substance which, with time, will mold to human touch – is what Barthes compares to creativity and love; whereas metal and plastic – both heavily altered materials devoid of natural warmth – are used to represent complicated modernism which lacks spiritual and emotional connection

You are an inspiration, ATS'ers please post your thoughts and opinions, I think ATS is a good crowd for this discussion.
Thank You Luke!
edit on 7-6-2012 by salty-red because: fix first link

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 03:54 AM
reply to post by salty-red

your first link is broken

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 03:56 AM
First link is broken, didn't try the second.

I'm impressed he's been exposed to Roland Barthes in high school, I didn't read anything by him until I was, well, eighteen and in college. Based on the excerpt it seems like a decent college essay. I was doing much the same by half-way through my freshman year, so maybe just six to twelve months older. For me it was a matter of finally being exposed to proper academic scholarship. It was all very confusing those first six months in college but then it finally clicked. I was tested at a twelfth grade-plus reading level when I was in sixth grade (the test only went that high and I maxed it out). I think if I had been challenged more in those intervening years I would have been writing college-level papers by high school, too.
edit on 6/7/2012 by LifeInDeath because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 04:24 AM
thanks for letting me know about the link, this should work. It was just pretty damn eloquent for anyone, let alone a high school student

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 06:19 AM

The changes which Barthes observed in the realm of toys are in direct correlation with the changes that have taken place within society over the course of the last century. The lasting quality of life is fading into a trend of replacement and augmentation. The toys that we hand to our children are mirror images of what we perceive the world to be. We are setting our children up to make the same mistakes that we did, continually perpetuating a world of ugliness, war, and bureaucracy.

I disagree with the conclusion. Read about The Fourth Turning.

Each generation influences the next in predictable cycles. The next generation is always different than the previous. The toys today reflect the over-coddling of children today. We are in the middle of an unraveling period. According to The Fourth Turning, this generation is known as the "hero" generation, much like the generation that fought in WWII.

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 07:17 AM
Interesting read but long on assumptions. I had thousands of toy soldiers as a kid and hundreds of tank, plane and ship models as well. Yet, I was never in the military.
Broken toys were rarely thrown away but become fodder for demolition derby events of mass firecracker destruction.
Why toss it out when you can blow it up?
The only wooden toys I remember were my Lincoln logs - which were pretty boring unless you made a structure and filled it with soldiers.
I am saddened to see what toys are available these days but it's not for the reasons the author thinks - it's because of lawsuits. I had many dangerous toys as a young kid - a plastic vacuum molding machine that could burn you, and plenty more with sharp points and metal edges.
I even had Estes rockets when I was 9 and was allowed to shoot them off with no supervision.
We walked or rode bikes miles away from home, stayed out after dark and talked to strangers.
We shot at each other with BB guns and pop bottle rockets.
By modern theory I should have died several times over already.

edit on 7-6-2012 by Asktheanimals because: added comment

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