Tim Shamirzayev

AP ELA 20-1



Discuss the idea(s) developed by the text creator about the ways in which individuals take responsibility for themselves or others

There lies a warrior within every being: each being forced to be held responsible for themselves and others by the roles in their lives and how truthful they can be to those roles, thus determining one’s capability to move forward in life. Each warrior has a duty to fulfill in order to be responsible to others and themselves. Finding the balance between the two worlds greatly increases the individual’s capability to take on such roles and responsibilities , further emphasizing the imperative nature of the two. Responsibility for one’s self reflects on an ability to show responsibility to others and vice versa.

Taking responsibility for the roles in your life is often a difficult task that requires a critical understanding of what it truly means to be the individual that you are. Snow Falling on Cedars, a novel by David Guterson, is a quintessence of how an individual takes responsibility for the roles they have been gifted, such as the role of a mother that Fujiko is meant to serve to Hatsue. In Hatsue’s eyes, she believes her mother has failed to take responsibility in her role. She tells her mother “You have to understand – I’ve grown up”. Being a mother means to understand the child, and attempt to better the relationship they share with them, in order to provide a healthy and certain future. Failing to do so means an absence of responsibility. Moreover, becoming detached from the one you love. So, to take that responsibility, Fujiko show concern for her daughter’s future, and reconciles with Hatsue, coming to a conclusion of how Hatsue truly feels about herself. Fujiko learns what it takes to be a mother. Understanding one’s roles and why the particular individual was chosen for that role is the basis of an understanding of every responsible individual.

Just as being responsible to others is imperative, to show responsibility to one’s own self through truth is dire to conveying responsibility. For instance, Fujiko tells Hatsue “Deceiving me, is only half it, daughter. You have deceived yourself, too”. The responsible mother provides insight into Hatsue’s soul, and allows an opportunity for the daughter to take responsibility for herself. As humans, it is difficult to be truthful to ourselves when it is far easier  to deceive, but it is a fundamental responsibility to show truth individuals. Prevent further anguish by the hands of a facade, is to take action. As opposed to holding onto someone that will not last, Hatsue learns that she does not truthfully love Ishmael, avoiding further conflict within herself. Though it may have been difficult, Hatsue took the responsibility of being human, and lets go of what hurt herself more than anything else. Thus, she is in a state where she discovers the importance of letting go, and does not look back in her choices to save herself from more anguish.

The responsibilities I possess is nearly limitless as an adolescent male.  Being a student, a brother, and leader all occupy my mind, but what I struggle with most is my responsibilities as an actor. Being such an individual means having energy, presence, and good character. All of which I struggle with as an individual with bad habits. I tend to miss out on crucial deadlines and call times that are imperative in ensuring I have the privilege to continue what I enjoy doing. Recently, I failed to meet the expectations to be at school post-musical, and was warned quite sternly that continued behaviour such as this would result in my removal from the program. I felt nothing but disappointment in myself, knowing I could never reverse my actions, and that I would have to live with them. It taught me that every moment matters that I am present, and that taking responsibility for the commitments I made would result in a happier life for myself. So, I learned that above all else, being present is what it takes to be a part of musical theatre. Taking such actions would ensure a future of tranquility, teaching me that fulfilling responsibility is above all else. To have endured such responsibilities is to be a warrior. However, a warrior is not deemed such through strength alone. Rather what creates a warrior is the responsibility they have as humans. Being truthful gives us the spirit to fulfill the roles and adversity we face. This is the responsibility of being human, and to take such responsibilities with wisdom and a heart of truth, is what it means to be a warrior.


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