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I'm writing an essay due Tuesday for my English class on whether or not fate exists....

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eidolonefficacy | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 27, 2013 at 3:06 AM via web

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I'm writing an essay due Tuesday for my English class on whether or not fate exists. It's basically the hardest essay I've had to write in my life, and I need some serious help on it. The main topics I have in it so far are: The Little Mermaid (where she does have the ability to choose her fate) and Macbeth with his whole self-fulfilling prophecy. What other topics could I use? And is this a good thesis? "From whence do we get it, and how? The answer often unwittingly reveals itself: we mold our own thoughts, and those thoughts help to mold us; they ultimately shape our destinies."

The reason I need so much help is because my grade basically hinges on it.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 27, 2013 at 4:48 PM (Answer #1)

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I think you may be making the assignment harder than it needs to be. You do not have to prove whether there is or is not such a thing as fate. All you have to do is to state your own opinion based on your personal experience and then explain why you have formed that opinion.

The question is whether or not everything that happens to us in life is predetermined or whether we have free will in determining our own destinies. What do you think? That's what your English teacher wants to hear in a well-written composition.

It seems from what you have said in your question that you believe we have free will. You say we mold our own thoughts and our thoughts ultimately shape our destinies. I think you should focus on that and elaborate on it.

If you start looking for supporting evidence in other works such as Macbeth, you will only complicate matters and not really prove anything. In my opinion, you should only refer to other people's writings if they support your own personal beliefs and thesis.

I am reminded of the poem "Invictus," which would support your thesis.

OUT of the night that covers me,     Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   I thank whatever gods may be     For my unconquerable soul.      In the fell clutch of circumstance          5   I have not winced nor cried aloud.   Under the bludgeonings of chance     My head is bloody, but unbowed.      Beyond this place of wrath and tears     Looms but the Horror of the shade,   10 And yet the menace of the years     Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.      It matters not how strait the gate,     How charged with punishments the scroll,   I am the master of my fate:   15   I am the captain of my soul.  

I hope my suggestions are helpful. Maybe other people could give you better advice. I am only offering mine because you are under such time pressure.

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