Liminal Experiences The Story Of My Life Essay

Liminal Experiences The Story Of My Life Essay

Liminal Experiences The Story Of My Life Essay

In “The Allegory of the Cave,” Socrates tells a hypothetical story of a man whose entire
experience is based on illusion and who, upon discovering the truth, is disoriented and
unbelieving at first. This allegory explores a common human experience of learning, using
the metaphor of traveling from darkness to light and finding that journey powerful and
sometimes painful. Our contemporary readings for this unit (Malcolm X, Helen Keller,
George Orwell, and Langston Hughes) examine the same process.
Undoubtedly, you have had a similar experience, in which you changed your mind radically
as a result of a sudden or slowly developing perception. Write an essay that describes your
experience and that reflects upon what it taught you about your own belief system. Make
sure that you refer to “The Allegory of the Cave” and at least one of the other essays
mentioned above.
Getting started: you might want to consider what Socrates says about the disturbances
that arise from “the shift from light to darkness or from darkness to light,” in which the soul
(or perhaps the heart or mind) is “perturbed and unable to discern something.” These
moments of confusion, sometimes referred to as “liminal experiences,” might provide you
with access to a broader understanding of your experience.
Note: You can apply these concepts to many different kinds of experiences, from something
exciting like baseball or suddenly understanding calculus to something very personal and
perhaps even painful. Please feel free to explore anything at all. Because of the personal nature
of this assignment, we will do no peer review, so your classmates will not see your essay unless
you choose to share it.
Suggested word count: 750-1000 words
Format: MLA format (1” margins, 12-point font, double-spaced, proper heading, centered
title)
Learning goals for this writing assignment:
• Use specific details rather than general statements to create a picture of your
experience for your reader. Show; don’t just tell!
• Settle on one or two main themes and select details that illustrate those themes.
• Frame your essay. Give a detailed snapshot of a particular moment rather than a full
chronology of your life.
• Create forward movement by devoting each paragraph and each sentence to a
separate stage of thought. Remove overlap and repetition, so that each paragraph
and each sentence plays a unique role in the advancing of your story.
• Use as few words as possible to convey as much concrete information as possible.
Combine related ideas, and make use of a variety of sentence types. Experiment
with punctuation, but make sure that each sentence functions as a separate unit of meaning