Constructed Reality

I’d like you to make a comment that answers any of the following questions. When you do, try to link your ideas with a concrete example that we could all understand (from Streetcar or any other source).

Do individuals construct their own reality or have it shaped by an external force?

Does what you do and don’t know determine your reality?

Who has the power to constuct reality?

The Insight English for Year 12 2007 book gives the following to get you started:

“Powerful people in a community such as the wealthy, media masters and politicians, have more opportunity to shape the world than those with little wealth and power. As a result, powerful people are foten the community’s decision makers, shaping and influencing what we accept as reality. In society, there are varying degrees of coercion involved in this process. The media can be seen as a subtle manipulator of reality, often presenting a world that taps into people’s fantasies and desires. Politicians also determine reality in the way they talk about the ‘issues’. Reality may be shaped by wide public debate that permits the existence of multiple viewpoints or it may be shaped by a narrow interpretation of the issues that excludes multiple viewpoints. Those individuals or groups whose voices are loudest and most persistent can be said to determine the version fo reality that is understood as the ‘truth’.”


10 thoughts on “Constructed Reality

  1. I’ve just read an opinion piece by Jeff Kennet in the Herald Sun that got me thinking about the government, and Julia Gillard. The decisions that are coming out of Canberra seem to highlight that the ‘reality’ of those in charge, and the ‘reality’ of the rest of us, seems very different. The introduction of the Carbon Tax is a prime examples. She believes we all want it, we all know nobody does. (Well, I know I don’t).

  2. Do individuals construct their own reality or have it shaped by an external force?
    There is no single answer to this question and no matter the response we cannot be certain that we have found the answer. Reality is immeasurable. It is a hypothetical construct, one could even argue that reality doesn’t exist. This makes this question a matter of our personal beliefs and perceptions. I believe that each individual’s reality is made up of both external forces and constructed by ourselves. It is a mixture of all aspects, things we both see and don’t see in life, taking snippets from every action and thought we have ever encountered into consideration. It is no one or two specific things that creates a reality, it’s a lifetime (up to the present moment) of experiences that creates a reality.
    There are clear cut examples of this in Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ with Blanche and Stanley. Blanche seems to have constructed her own reality with her beliefs of what is important in the world Eg, maintaining her looks and appearing as beautiful as possible is paramount to her, seen with her not wanting to be seen in full light “Turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare”
    This differs greatly to Stanley’s reality which seems to have been shaped by the working class suburb he works and lives in, causing him to be worried more about money than Blanche’s fancy clothes asking “Where’s the papers” for the property she previously owned.
    Does what you do and don’t know determine your reality?
    In my mind anything that reaches your consciousness contributes to your reality. Depending on the amount of importance placed on the subject depend on the amount it contributes. In Blanche’s reality, what she doesn’t know greatly shapes her reality. This is because she chooses (or her condition chooses) to ignore the regular happenings both Stanley and Stella see in their realities. This greatly shapes Blanche’s reality causing her to become the self-obsessed woman she appears to be in the play.
    Who has the power to construct reality?
    As I have mentioned earlier I believe anyone and anything has the power to construct reality. Reality is made up of millions of thoughts, feelings, experiences, events, settings, relationships and situations; if any single aspect of the world or the individual’s human mind reaches the attention of the person then I believe it has the power to construct a reality.
    For instance, typing this up has changed my reality as I know think about reality and my individual reality in a different light, which has in turn has changed my reality. And if you don’t agree then I think you need to change your reality!

  3. Who has the power to construct reality?

    Everybody has “those dreams.” The content of “those dreams” vary from person to person. However an underlining factor associated with “those dreams” is one thing, desire. A desire for changes, a desire to be changed. The target position for this change, alters according to the individual, however all arrows lead back to reality. This provokes the question on who can re-construct reality? And who has the ability to construct reality in the first place?

    Within our daily lives we are endlessly bound to the reality placed before us, we have become so accustom to it, we have shut off any distinct correlation between it and a virtual prison. In our daily life we are bound to our so-called social duty. This may involve a job in the workplace, as a student at school or a homeless person on the street. It appears that in today’s society there is a social ladder or a pecking order to which we are confined too. We may try to escape it, climb it or pretend to ignore it, however it will always catch up with us and drag us back to our place. This is our reality, the life we have been confined to be some feared, mystically power.

    So whose reality are we restricted too? There appears to be no trace, no reference and no bibliographical data. Has there been an almighty power that has burned history and introduced their horrid regime to confine us to their dreams? Or is our reality a course of nature, “destined to happen by an unstoppable force?” Who writes reality or who wrote reality?

    In “those dreams” we can see ourselves miles above our current rung on the social ladder, however the huge majority of us cannot see how it is even possible to reach it. We wonder, make ifs, buts and maybes, whilst we continue to dream of the ultimate reality.

    When we hear of the marvellous stories of individuals rising from slums to stardom with an abundant of riches in their possession. We dream for their luck.
    Luck doesn’t exist. And marvellous rises from slums to stardom don’t happen over night, it is process of hard work, mental belief and patience. To answer the provoked question mentioned above, we can re-construct reality to suit our tailored needs, to our dreams and desires. This rarely happens due to the nature of the “common human.” To create or even alter a reality one must obtain such a mental strength and self-belief that is that far beyond the capabilities of the “common human’s” dreams.

    If your not happy with your social rung or pecking order, that you have been confined too by some invisible author, it is your own responsibility to alter it. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” (Napoleon) Therefore next time your dreaming one of “those dreams,” don’t dream of the ecstasy, set out to achieve it with hard work, mental strength and irrepressible self belief.

  4. Do individuals construct their own reality or is it shaped by an external force?
    Both alternative answers suggested in the question could be correct. Countless individuals
    attempt to construct their own realities as a defence mechanism to escape their horrid real-life circumstances. They take refuge in a carefree and idealistic world that opposes their “actual” reality. Blanche Dubois displays this mechanism throughout the course of the play to escape her dull and crumbling world. She continuously bathes, dims the light on the lamps to exaggerate her beauty and feminine nature to others around her, and most importantly, hide her true age. Realistically, Blanche is actually a fading “belle” who is approaching her forties. Thus, Blanche has created a fantasy world in which she took shelter to evade real world facts.
    In contrast, there are several external factors that help us mould and shape our reality.
    For example, our culture, religion, age and gender play a role in crafting our complex realities. Whether we are male or female, young or old, Christian or Buddhist, our perception of the world will undoubtedly be different. Stanley’s masculine nature paints an image of the world that completely contradicts Blanche’s reality as a woman. Another external aspect that contributes to Blanche’s illusion of the world is her memories and past experiences. Her lack of trust in men after her failed relationship is a prime example.

    Does what you do and don’t know determine your reality?
    This is closely tied in with age being an external force that shapes our reality. Older and wiser people who have an enriched view on life and greater knowledge would have an alternate reality to a five year old child. Certainly, what you do and don’t know impacts one’s reality but, doesn’t determine it. Reality is like a piece of clay that is continuously shaped and moulded by various aspects of our lives.

    Who has the power to construct reality?
    Anyone can construct a reality. We actively conjure fantasy worlds each day to help us escape our real life circumstances even if it is momentarily. During hardships, numerous people take refuge into their own little worlds to help escape their crumbling surroundings. Blanche Dubois creates her own reality to help her escape her haunting past. For example, her repeated efforts to look beautiful and hide her age is the ideal reality she wants people to perceive. She has a completely different perception of life than anyone in the play. Even her sister Stella, who grew up in the same conditions as she did, perceives life from a different angle. Therefore, it is clear that Blanche Dubois has constructed her own reality and.

  5. Who has the power to construct reality?

    I don’t think the question should be “who” but “what”. The idea of reality has been expressed (or attempted to be expressed) many times throughout film’s history. Films such as Inception portray reality as a form of architecture, a semi-physical thing that can be consciously manipulated to the desires of the “owner”. Other movies like Avatar suggest that reality is created through a person’s experiences, actions and memories.

    The “construction” of reality is endlessly debatable due to the fact that we can’t physically prove our arguments. Is reality constructed? Is it manipulated? or does it simply exist? Inception explores the idea that a person is able to construct their own reality in quite a literal way. But how much can we take from this fictional story? I believe that anyone is able to construct their own reality, but I also believe that other people and things can indirectly effect someone’s reality as well.

    This can be seen in the film Avatar, where the main female character Neytiri reveals the alien world of pandora to Jake Sully. It illustrates how a person’s reality can be constructed by their surroundings and experiences (because he changes sides in the conflict; first following the deceitful orders of his superiors but later standing up for the world of Pandora).
    Therefore i think that external forces such as actions, experiences and others assist in constructing our own reality.
    It is not just a personal thing.

  6. I believe (that is, in my reality) these two questions are closely interrelated to one another. As Will said reality is a hypothetical construct, it is unable to be measured. There is not one single thing or external force that shapes our reality but a combination of many. This ‘external force’ may come in the form of many different things; be it a person, a culture, a religion, a fashion or a hobby. So, these questions should not be put up against each other as “individual vs. external” but they should be side by side, as that is how they mould and influence our perception of the world.

    Any single person has the power to create their own reality, and this is where the questions are related. People can and often do construct their own realities and escape to them; science tells us that this is true in the form of Psychology. For an example of this we need not look further than today’s halftime show at the NFL Super bowl, the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Madonna is an individual who has created a world of her own. She has perceived herself for the past 30 years as a leader and one of the most influential women of modern music and culture. For most of her life she has lived in luxury and known nothing less. But what has contributed to this is the perception is the external forces of the population and how they view her-almost as a demi god.

    Excuse the lack of streetcar here as I haven’t finished reading it yet.

  7. So sorry, these are the questions I responded to.
    Do individuals construct their own reality or have it shaped by an external force?

    Who has the power to constuct reality?

  8. Who has the power to construct reality?
    The power to construct reality does not lie within one person no matter how important. Reality is constructed through the experiences of a person that are shaped by all those around them throughout their entire life.
    A person idea of their reality is constantly changing and with it they are learning and discovering new things.
    Although a majority of realities are constructed through ‘life experiences’ some people have their reality constructed for them by a external force.
    This can be seen in Frank Darabont’s Shawshank Redemption in which the inmates have their reality constructed by the warden and his guards. When Brooks is released from prison he is unable to survive outside of the reality that had been constructed for him in his lifetime in jail (institutionalized) and took his life in order to escape.

  9. Do individuals construct their own reality or have it shaped by an external force? This is a question that no single person can fully answer, it is unknown, and I dare say always will be. Each and every one of us has their own reality, whether we believe it is self contrasted, externally constructed or both. Either way it comes down to that same word, belief. Personally I believe that the reality we are born into and surrounds us as we each develop shapes and constructs our personalities, which in turn, shapes our reality. Like the berg balance scale each is the other’s counterweight, both continuously holding up the other and as well as that, always shaping it. For example, let’s take two people (hypothetically), genetically identical, and put them in different families at birth. They will grow up to be completely different personalities with completely different realities. As each is influenced by their surroundings they will construct their own reality accordingly. And as a result will have their own different perspective of the world, it’s contents and ways. This will in turn lead to them living different lives, leading to further more different realities, shaping their personalities further and so on. It is a never-ending chain, a never-ending process making us who we are. As well as this there will always be those who construct their own reality more so than they take from it, and become as the berg scales would be, unbalanced. A prime example of this from Tennessee William’s ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ is Blanche. She creates her own reality, convincing herself and believing her own lies. She believes what she wants to believe, and lives accordingly. Living a life of selfish desire she distances herself further and further from the reality of her life and rather creates her own reality in her mind, ignoring the other. It could also be argued that the reality she was surrounded by previous to this caused her to become who she became, which I have no doubt it did. All in all I think that individuals do construct their own reality to a certain degree apart from extreme circumstances such as with Blanche, where it is almost completely self constructed, and as a result, mentally unstable. The way each of us has our own take on the world is our own reality, the way we see things and react to them. That is our realities, our past, present and future, the facts of our lives, whether or not they are in our control.

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