Carolina Day School

Honors Papers 2021-22

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Pereda-Echeverry 1 Sophia Pereda-Echeverry Sue Ellen Sims AP English Literature and Composition 9 March 2021 Love: Immutable and Amorphous Many -- in both the arts and the sciences -- have sought to find the answer to the question: what is love? The answers, so far, have been varied. Though most researchers, historians, and artists alike agree that love is an important part of the human experience, some think it is simply the result of evolutionary instincts, a combination of chemicals and hormones in the body and brain, and the culmination of both our nature and our nurture. In short, a means to an end as guided by the ideas of beauty and attraction we have been taught working in conjunction with our genetically coded goal of reproduction. Artists, however, -- and writers, especially -- have come to a different conclusion. To artists, love is powerful, love is beautiful, and love is much more than simply the consequence of chance and DNA patterns. For many, love is the foundation of meaningful relationships and, for some, proof of a larger source of reason and power that presides over the universe. Love --as seen in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116", "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" by D.H. Lawrence, and Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake-- acts as an immutable force upon the lives of human beings, which creates the opportunity for pain, while also giving meaning to otherwise insignificant existences. In Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116", the narrator describes this force, as well as its nature and its power on human beings. The narrator argues that real love is unchanging and unflinching, even in the face of passing time and painful obstacles: "Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds…" (1-3). Genuine love remains, even through death, betrayal, and abandonment.

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