Staples, Garbarino, & Harris

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The first big connection I saw between Harris’ journal and the readings was related to the idea brought forward by Staples about epiphanies. Staples said that life can be dull and we search for and are excited by moments of enlightenment or meaning. I think this connects to Harris’ journal because he believed conformity prevents people from actually being themselves. Harris wanted to express his individuality but he was ridiculed for it. An entry that examples this is the one from 4/12/98. In it, Harris discusses how societies definition of the “real world” is different than what it actualy is – conformity and social norms. I think that both Staples and Harris would think that in this search for meaning in the “real world,” people can lose a true sense of individuality. This is why epihpanies are important: they provide an escape from the “real world” and provide a sense of self awareness and clarity. Harris even says (in the 4/12/98) entry, “We are humans, if we don’t like something we have the fucking ability to change!”. This ability to change, I think, is in the form of epihanies.

I was also able to relate Harris’ journal to Garabinos’ section called  Who Cares About the Child Inside the Killer? Garabino essentially says that although youth who commit violent acts are deemed dangerous or monstrous, underneath they still have youthful and interesting passions and characteristics. I think that Harris was the same way, although the writing explicit and vulgar, there were parts that had intellectual value such as his opinions on society. For instance, in the entry under 5/9/98, Harris provides philosophical insight into social acceptance. Harris’ journal proves that he was not just some mindless anarchist, he actually studied and formed his own intellectual beliefs.

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