For those of you who are reading this and are not in the same AP Lit class as me, I have two things to say: first, I can't believe you're choosing to read this, and second, we watched a TED Talk in class delivered by Alain de Botton entitled "A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success." I found this talk to be generally interesting. De Botton talked about the idea of meritocracy and how everyone views it as the ideal system, despite its shortcomings. He mounts an argument for his own ideas about success by saying that the meritocracy results in people at the top viewing the people at the bottom as having 'deserved' it. He elaborates on this by saying that there is a stark difference between an unfortunate and a loser. I think this is a valuable distinction to make since someone who is at the bottom is not necessarily a loser. He says that the meritocracy is blind to this and everyone at the bottom is a loser. I don't necessarily agree with him on this, because if it was accurate I don't think we would be able to recognize that there is a distinction to the length that we do, especially since we live in a meritocracy.
As for how this TED Talk connects to tragedy, I must make a confession: we did not finish the talk in class, and I never finished it completely outside of class. I went through and read the forum posts to get an idea of what he finished the talk with, and it sounded like he might have connected it to tragedies in particular. I'd imagine that you'd expect me to analyze this part of the talk since it's directly related to tragedy. I will choose to take a different route, however. Let's begin with de Botton's talking points on the meritocracy. As I mentioned before, he believes the meritocracy creates a system belief where those at the bottom 'deserve' their place. Perhaps this can relate to tragedies in the sense that the human experience itself is a tragedy; the story is sad, but there is a good feeling at the end. With de Botton's worldview, this would be particularly true for those on the bottom. They live a sad life of feeling like a loser or being told they're losers by those above them, only to have the relief of death, or in some cases, social mobility toward the end of their lives. Maybe life is so tragic that we have to create escapes, just like de Botton mentions when he talks about nature. He described nature as an escape from the human anthill. These escapes are the little bits of relief that could exist in a tragedy. If you're still reading this, get a life, then check out de Botton's talk here.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.