Unit Four: The Awakened Life

Prewriting Sheet for Essay

The Awakened Life Essay Assignment

Waking Life by Richard Linklater


“On this bridge, ” Lorca warns, “life is not a dream. Beware. And beware. And beware. ”

All my dreams are of the same few memories, the same boys and girls. But I don’t want to be woken up, not anymore, not ever again. 
How can I help but romanticize the past when my friends were alive and my girl by my side? Don’t it feel like my life happiness I have used it up, and I can’t get it back? 
All I can do is dwell.
from Saudade, released May 24, 2016

Leave (REM) and The City That Never Sleeps (Lorca)

Dreams Go By (Chapin)

Dreams (Fleetwood Mac) Annotated lyrics

Make it Yours (Samsung commercial)

Situationism is a psychological theory that places emphasis on external and situational factors in personality and behavior. Rather than focusing on the importance of innate traits on influencing personality situationists believe that the current and immediate situation is the most influential. Because behaviors change in different scenarios situationism focuses on how the situational and environmental factors influence behavior.

Studies like the Stanford Prison Experiment (where normal people who were randomly chosen as a prison “guard” started to exhibit aggressive and punitive behaviors towards the participants randomly assigned to be “prisoners”) are often cited as supporting evidence that situational factors are the most influential determining qualities for personality.

Required Reading: You will be assigned one of the following books to read. Finish reading the book by March 1st.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

View the movie.



Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

View the trailer.

“When René Descartes sat at his stove and meditated on the world and on whether an evil demon controlled everything he perceived, he wondered, what’s more real, dreams or waking life? The diverse collection of characters in Linklater’s film ask the same question. Yet they ask it not just in a literal sense, but also as a metaphor for the nature of modern culture and for the human condition as a whole – in what ways do we fall asleep even while awake?”


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