An essay on a man who has no inner life is a slave to his surroundings 

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is an excellent prompt, a provocative topic.  I am going to assume that you are writing your essay for an English class, and might be expected to use some texts to support your ideas.  Let's do some brainstorming on your prompt and then we can talk about how to structure your essay. 

What does it mean to not have an inner life?  In the extreme case, to me, this means having no thoughts or feelings of one's own. This is an impossibility, but there are people who seem to have few thoughts or feelings of their own, only able to "mirror" those around them.  What are the implications of this? As you consider what the implications are, one of them is likely to be your thesis. One thought that comes to my mind is that no one has an real inner life because all of our minds are formed by way of what is outside of us, since the only way any information or idea can enter our brains is through sensory experiences in the external world, our interactions with things and people. This would be an argument that the statement applies to all humans.  Aside from making this argument, assuming for the purposes of the assignment that the statement is true, I think first that such a person cannot bear to be alone, since he or she has no inner resources upon which to draw in solitude, with a countervailing example of the person who prefers to be alone because he or she has a rich inner life, and second that such a person is quite easily led. This provides three possible theses for an essay. I am sure you will be able to think of some other possibilities, too. 

Now, a thesis must be supported with evidence.  To make the argument that we are all slaves to our surroundings, for example, because none of us has a true inner life, the support for that is largely scientific.  It is well established that nothing enters our brains except through our fives senses, which means that we are exclusively made up of our surroundings. And there is some interesting research going on concerning what are called our mirror neurons, neurons formed before we are even born, neurons that prompt us to mirror the actions of others, which is what causes a baby to smile in response to its mother smiling at it, for example, or as various parts of a child's brain are engaged when watching someone else ride a bicycle, a process that allows the child's brain to prepare the child to learn how to ride that bike.  As for the person who cannot bear to be alone or the opposite, the person who prefers to be alone, there is science and literature to support that.  I could do some research on introverts and extroverts and conclude that introverts prefer to be alone because they do have inner lives that recharge their batteries and that extroverts, who must recharge their batteries by being with others, have limited inner lives.  In literature, contrast Gatsby with Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald). We see Gatsby frequently alone in the novel, even avoiding people at his famous parties, because his inner life is consumed with Daisy.  Tom, on the other hand, clearly has no inner life at all, having only ideas from reading odd racist diatribes and always surrounded by others in a "party" atmosphere.  Tom is arguably a slave to his surroundings.  To support the idea that people lacking inner lives are easily led, two literary texts come to mind, The Giver (Lowry) and "The Lottery" (Jackson). In the first, the members of the community have no inner lives at all, since their sexuality is repressed with drugs and they must share their thoughts and feelings, even their dreams. They are all easily led, obeying all the rules at all times.  In the second, the people of the village appear to have no inner lives, since they unquestioningly follow the tradition of the lottery, blindly, year after year.  Literature is full of such examples, and you will think of others, too. 

Once you have a thesis, you are ready to begin a draft of your essay. This should include an introduction that gets the reader's attention and draws the reader in to the "world" of your essay, ending with a thesis statement that states your main idea and the points you will use to support that idea.  Let's suppose you have three supporting points for your thesis.  In that case, you will develop three body paragraphs, one for each point you want to make, in the order in which you list the points in the thesis statement.  You will end with a conclusion, which should remind your reader of your main idea and the points you have made in the essay. 

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jayapriya954 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

First,the man who has no inner life can be thought of as a man who has  no soul .Thus if he has no soul,no desires and no ideas.he will become a slave to what is around him,doing only what other do and what is available in his environment.for example ,if he live in a city he would surrounded by many people and lots of “hustle and bustle”and be forced to keep up with them both literally ,while walking or riding his bike and figuratively for example moving upwards in his job.if he had an inner life or inner desires, he may choose to live in the peaceful city. And he can live a great luxurious life towards the society but without any aim ,he was a man who has no soul and unless one to this world.

A person who has no humility in his life he can proceed his work soothe. first of all he should have a confidence towards himself.pull yourself away from your complicated thoughts ans see if this is what you called a big problem.

Only being a positive thinking,you can actually see there are lights at the end of tunnel and that this is not the end of the world

There is no respect for others without                                   

Humility in one’s self”

The man who has no inner life has no close friends or family.He goes out into the world to work and live but when he comes home ,he feels lonely and without any hobbies or interests.He would be a slave to his job and society since he does not seek out other interests rather just goes with whatever is around him .Anyone wont give any credits to him they use to separate him in the society.Thus it is necessaryand imperative that everyone struggles to imbibe and express of selflessness,truthfulness and generosity in his character in however small degree it may be possible for him.

I hope this answer will give some ideas to you thank you have a great day.

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