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Purpose in Life

  • Date Submitted: 04/12/2012 02:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.9 
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The short story, “The Girl Next Door” by Norman Levine, and the film, “ An Education”, directed by Lone Scherfig, explore the theme of the search for purpose in life. Some people know what they want and need from life, and some of them, think that they know until some point in life that changes everything. In the short story, “The Girl Next Door”, the writer returns to Ottawa, he knows what he wants from life and he is happy by himself,“quite happy to stay by a window”. He meets the girl next door, Lynn, who is very lonely and dependent person. In the story, Levin demonstrates how two people help each other to find a purpose in life. He accomplishes this through his description of changes in characters, symbolism and conflict that appears between the writer and Lynn.
In the film, “ An Education”, the main character Jenny, sixteen years old girl, who is “passionate, inquisitive and smart, bound for Oxford and stifled by her starchy private school and her anxious, proper parents”. Her life is all planned for years in advance, until she falls for mysterious, charming, Jewish man for who life is a game. In the film, Scherfig shows that there are many obstacles on the way until you find your place in life. She accomplishes this through dialogues and conflicts that Jenny has with her parents and teachers about her life.



First, lets look at the short story, “The Girl Next Door”.   At the beginning, the author describes Lynn, “ dressed in jeans, a black sweater, and black duffle coat” and “ dark straight hair”, this description illustrates that Lynn is very lonely and lost in life. She doesn’t know where she belongs, “Isn’t there a place for someone like me?”   For the writer, Lynn is like an inspiration, like the Monet, Waterloo Bridge- The Sun in a Fog.
The day when he meets Lynn, he describes the view outside, “ the sun was round at the top coming faintly through the fog”. The sun is symbol that represents Lynn. The most important thing for the writer is his...

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