Thursday, April 18, 2013

The "What if?" Question

“What if?” becomes the question as I read The Twelfth Night and watch the documentary “Living for 32.” Never really knowing what will happen if things turned out differently; we tend to wonder. As human it is normal for us to question our every move and decision in life. Just like the characters in The Twelfth Night and Colin Goddard in “Living for 32,” who can ask themselves the “What if?” question every day.
Colin Goddard is one of the seven survivors in the Virginia Tech shooting that took place six years around this time. He tells his survivor story in the form of a documentary for those who are interested in learning how he uses his experience to better his life. More importantly, Colin elaborates on the amount of guns that are being sold illegally by the day. He argues the point that individuals should not just have a gun for self-defense. Although there are many others who can oppose to Colin’s opinion, they never will truly know what he went through that day.
During the documentary, Colin gets a little defensive when a man tells him “If I was in that classroom that day, things would have been different.” Referring to the fact that he would have had a gun, because he believes in self-defense, and he would have saved many lives. Colin takes this into offense because that man does not really understand what went on that day. The question remains “What If he was in that classroom during this incident?” We will never know, but Colin feels he should not be able to even say something along those lines. I stand behind Colin’s argument because one should not judge another without first going through what they went through. It is always easy to say something, but when it actually comes time for that something to happen, things always change.
Similar to the characters in The Twelfth Night, who may not even notice that the “What if?,” question can change their lives within seconds. Due to their complicated love triangle, the Duke, Viola, and Olivia never truly know where their love life could end up. Therefore if we were to imply the “What if?” question, we would probably lose our mind. What if Viola didn’t disguise herself? What if Sebastian really did die? What if the Duke went to talk to Olivia himself? These are all question that could change the plot of this story completely. All the different scenarios make it more interesting to think about.
Both the book and documentary present an ending that is mysterious to us. Although Colin’s situation is a lot more intense than Shakespeare’s acts, we can see the connection. Life constantly asks us the “What if?” question. One decision can easily be turned into something else if the slightest thing was changed. 

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