Writing Essay

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Human Nature and Egotism
From a realist’s perspective, human beings do not truly learn from past experiences; humans are predominantly concerned with one thing: self-preservation. In the film Groundhog Day, Phil Connors’ character is a representation of this outlook on human beings. From the first few scenes in the film, one can see Phil’s sarcastic, crude, and egocentric nature. Rita draws upon Phil’s egotism during one of the scenes, quoting Sir Walter Scott, “The wretch, concentrated all in self living, shall forfeit fair renown and, doubly dying, shall go down to the vile dust, from whence he sprung unwept, unhonored, and unsung” (Groundhog Day). A common belief regarding Groundhog Day is that Phil Connors becomes a better human being because he is forced to repeat the same day and reevaluate his interactions with others, which provides support for Aristotle’s claim that being a part of a state is necessary for human improvement. However, Groundhog Day does not provide confirmation that being part of a state is a necessary condition for this because even though Phil’s behavior changes primarily due to the supernatural element, one cannot truly determine whether Phil’s character improves in the end or not since technically only one day has passed. Phil states, “I am a god,” when he tries to explain to Rita his current situation, and he is somewhat accurate in his statement (Groundhog Day). The repetition of the same day makes Phil temporarily immortal, putting him in a world where time does not “develop” (May). Phil uses the supernatural element to his advantage by utilizing the lack of time for development to learn information, acquire skills, and perform good deeds that would otherwise have been impossible to achieve.
Phil rapidly realizes the potential advantage he has from the missing aspect of time for development. This allows him to obtain information he should not have access to before Groundhog Day, which gives him insight to “forbidden” knowledge....

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