Journey's come in many different forms, some being lengthy in duration while others may be just hours long. On occasion, one's path to self-knowledge may be found in doing the same things as one used to do in a whole new environment and finding that the ways of the past are inadequate for the ways of the present. This concept is shown in the untitled narrative by Sara Chase, where the discovery is that her study habits from high school no longer correlate with what she will need to do to be successful in college. Failure is a common fear for almost everyone. It is something that we try to avoid as much as possible. In the narrative, the author panics when thoughts of failure flood into her head.
The author states .".. the confidence that I acquired early slipping away and fear filling its place."All this over one little question?" we ask ourselves. This made me wonder: Is what we strive for as the vision of self-knowledge actually perfection or is self-knowledge realized when we finally accept the fact that perfection is unattainable? The crucial element, in my opinion, was not a paragraph or a single sentence; it was one word that was repeated numerous times throughout the narrative: confidence. Is confidence what leads us to self-knowledge-the confidence to continue on, to try new ways when old ways fail? Is confidence a pre-indicator of a successful journey or can you claim self-knowledge without possessing confidence? The past serves as a useful reference for the present and the future. In this case, the past could not compete at the same level as the present.
But this fact was only realized after failure, disappointment, and self-pity, as the author states. The past, in someway, develops who you are and what experiences and life lessons we take from the past and use in the present create a future that brings us closer to self-knowledge. This narrative is like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in some ways. Sir Gawain reacts to the fear of death when he takes the green sash from the Lady. He also fears for his life and flinches when he thinks the Green Knight is going to swing at his neck.
The narrative reflects a similar fear, yet it's not a fear a death. In both, the character realizes self-knowledge when failure, disappointment and self-pity are bound into one. We use the past to prepare for the future, but what happens when the past is inadequate for the use of the future? We panic and fear prevents us from working through the problem. We find that one's ways of the past are inadequate for the present and that is what we learn from..