Imagine you were marooned for a year on a desert island. Given that you have all the practical things you need to survive, what comforts would you want with you? Perhaps a favourite book and a song (and something to play it on).
This was the question two students in our Advanced group recently answered. The results are the two articles here for you to enjoy. What do you think of their choices?
Can you imagine living all by yourself on a deserted island for a year? No friends, no phone, no Internet. It’d probably drive you crazy! But I don’t see it that way. In my opinion this would be a terrific opportunity to get away from society’s stereotypes, consumerism and lack of individuality. How great this chance for spiritual rebirth would be.
However, I can’t fully ignore the existence of civilisation, can I? So I might as well take two things I love with me on this introspective journey: The Perks of being a Wallflower and You and me.
Surprisingly, I’ve only ever read Stephen Chbosky’s masterpiece once (I suppose taking this book to the deserted island would soon change that) but since reading it I can’t stop thinking about it. So simplistic, yet so thought-provoking, The Perks of being a Wallflower immediately took its place in my list of all-time favourite books thanks to its unique characters and memorable, meaningful quotes (“I feel infinite” or “We accept the love we think we deserve”) and because I’m a bit of a wallflower myself.
Regarding my choice of song, I couldn’t be happier with You and Me by Penny and The Quarters. It’s not just a great song but it also has a great back story. It was recorded in the 1970s but never released by a record label. A few decades after, the demo was found in a garage sale and it finally rose to fame in the 2010 film Blue Valentine. After that, people started looking for the band until, in 2011, a 60 year-old woman finally came forward and claimed the song which she thought had been lost forever.
These are two things I could never get tired of because they are so inspirational and because I’m sure they would keep me motivated on the desert island (survival tools if you like!). They may even help restore my faith in human kind.
Could you live for a whole year, alone on a deserted island? Without the comforts and luxuries of home? Without the tenderness of your family? With just a book and a piece of music for company?
Besides the fact that I would be far away from loved ones, I think I would be thrilled to face this challenge. Although I’m no MacGyver, I’m pretty sure I would survive even under such extreme circumstances. However, to do this I would have to take with me a couple of things to keep me sane: a book by Pepetela called A Montanha da Água Lilás and a song, Last Day of Winter by Pelican.
I would choose this book because it has an extremely important moral underlying the idea of animals working. In line with other literary classics like George Orwell’s Animal Farm, it’s a book for all ages and open to many interpretations. Particularly about the “Jacalupis”, a mythical beast which appears in the story.
As far as the song goes, from a massive list of options, I would choose Last Day of Winter just because it never fails to make me think from another point of view about the world and how we behave. We are made of memories, so this is the song I’d take for old time’s sake.
This book, this song, added together with the whisper of the waves breaking in the sunshine…I’d create my own planet for myself on my own island. It might not mean I would survive the whole year, but one thing I’m certain of is that boredom would never be a problem on the island.
Thanks to Ana and João for letting us share your articles on the International House Santa Clara blog. Great work guys.