Looking at Butterfly Effect by David Hernandez from the Theory of Knowledge Perspective

As one begins to read and understand literature, they form interpretations of what the literature should be about. We often begin to assign meaning to things and make the story as relatable as possible. With writing and analyzing, though, comes critiquing. Critics look at works through a surfeit amount of ways dubbed “lenses.” These lenses range from psychological to mythological to Marxist and more. A story that is particularly interesting to look at through a lens is “The Butterfly Effect” by David Hernandez. This story, when looked at through the Theory of Knowledge lens, is very interesting, and holds mean both figuratively and literally. The Theory of Knowledge Lens falls under the New Criticism category. This category focuses on the beauty and different meanings of a work before its scientific or historic value. In “The Butterfly Effect”, Hernandez is talking about how small actions, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, can cause something like a hurricane to happen. When looking at this, you can infer that it has several meanings. Realistically an air particle being pushed by a butterfly could go on to later spin and join with other spinning air particles to create something a force as strong as a hurricane or tornado.

This is an actual theory, also known as Chaos Theory. Surely, Hernandez could be talking about the literal effects of the wind being pushed by the butterfly going on to cause havoc. Hernandez also applies this to his own life; he discusses how events in his life have represented how the Butterfly Effect works. How the “storms” in his life were just “gales” a few weeks earlier. It is at this point that the reader begins to focus on establishing a relationship between the story and themselves, another imperative part of New Criticism. In life, everybody is given choices, and it is often the smaller choices that stick with us for the rest of our lives. While reading this poem, a reader can think back to all of the things that they have done that have had an impact on them. For instance, I was reminded of why I am attending Montclair State after reading through the poem. Montclair’s website was the first state-school website that I landed on when searching for colleges in New Jersey; the school became my favorite and my first choice for that reason. A small, five-minute period of my life affected the next four years of the same life. As literature evolves, we will most certainly come up with new ways to critique and review it. The lenses we use now will evolve and morph, as well. Looking at literature this way allows us to see the different ways an individual may perceive a piece of literature based off of their background. It is my humble belief that Hernandez wrote this poem to help us put the actions in our everyday lives into perspective, and it is to be taken both literally and in a grand sense for our live/existence.

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