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Andie Hayhurst

#MyStoryENG4U Report

Social media is a powerful tool that millions of people use around the world. One of the

most powerful apps in this day and age is Instagram, a source where you can post photos and

receive likes from the people that follow you. People are represented and reflected based the

things that they post and the stories they tell within these pictures. Instagram is a chance to be

someone else entirely if that is what you desire, or to be yourself. Social media also gives people

the chance to impact others based on the things that they post, but the things that we post on

social media are meaningful because people can perceive each other as something that they are

not. In certain ways, social media can even be dangerous because once you expose something on

the internet you can never take it away. Through my analysis I will be viewing a number of posts

by Andrew Toth, these photos show a number of Andrews past experiences, and how these

stories have shaped him as a person. In this process, it is up to me to perceive them as I want and

in some ways, the way that Andrew originally wanted them to be perceived. I will also be

connecting a number of literary theories with Andrews posts and why I think they are relevant to

the story that Andrew tells, and how it puts a different lens on how people can interpret things

not only in literature but on social media.

The first post that I will be analysing from Andrews Instagram is a video where one of

Andrews friends slaps him in the face. I decided to take a psychoanalytic criticism view and lens

on this post because I believe that there was something deeper in both Andrew and his friend

Chriss minds that made them come to the conclusion that physically slapping someone would

solve the problem at hand and serve as a value punishment for being wrong. Psychoanalytic

criticism builds on Freudian theories of psychology and through Freuds various research he

discovered that people's behavior is affected by their unconscious: "...the notion that human
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beings are motivated, even driven, by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are

unaware.... This means that Andrew and Chris came to the conclusion to solve their problem

with a slap possibly based on past experiences in their life. In Andrews caption he said, the

funny thing is it worked, and the fight was instantly forgotten, and we havent talked about it

since. Thats what I call problem solving.. The problem is with this kind of scenario the actual

problem isnt solved a physical action can almost never be the solution to a physiological and

logical problem. In this situation, all that Andrew and Chris did was repress their actual problem.

Tyson once said, "...repression doesn't eliminate our painful experiences and emotions...we

unconsciously behave in ways that will allow us to 'play out'...our conflicted feelings about the

painful experiences and emotions we repress", proving that Andrew and Chriss version of

problem solving wasnt a good choice.

The next post that I will be analysing from Andrews Instagram is the post in Algonquin

park at a campsite. I decided to take an ecocriticism lens on this post because of the different

stories that Andrew describes within this post and how I believe it connects with the environment

and can be interpreted in a unique way through literature. Andrew describes in the caption that

one of his friends hit the a boiling pasta pot off the Bunsen burner stove that they used for

cooking, in a turn of events Andrew immediately caught the pot with his bare hands and ended

up getting the pot back on the Bunsen burner stove. He saved his entire group from a night of

being hungry but he paid a price because even though he helped his group, he ended up hurting

himself. The boiling pot burned Andrew and changed his experience over the next couple days

because of this injury. With an Eco critical view on this situation the boiling pot could represent

the stupidity of his group and Andrew catching the pot could represent the lengths that he had to

go to, to take care of his group as well as the pain he had to endure. Andrew ended up having to
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put himself at risk and had to waste his own energy to fix someone elses mistake. You could

look at this Eco critically because ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature

and the physical environment. By Interpreting Andrews physical environment in this scenario

and situation as meaning something more and connecting it to literature I used an Eco critical

lens. Ecocriticism asks us to examine ourselves and the world around us, critiquing the way that

we represent, interact with, and construct the environment, both natural and manmade..

All of these views and lenses are connected to literature in a big way and it is interesting

to understand that a single post can change a persons view on someone else. As I look through

Andrews Instagram I can visualize how Andrew wants to be perceived and more specifically

how I perceive him. I can make conclusions through Andrews Instagram that he is a very kind

and well-rounded guy who has had many experiences in life and likes to have fun. I have

analysed his posts and have added different lenses to the way I can interpret Andrews stories.

Something that jumped out at me through this experience is the fact that Andrew didnt have the

same story throughout each of these posts, he has different stories, and all these combined, shape

Andrew to be the person that he is. A narrative called The Truth About Stories also explains how

different stories can be interpreted and the power that stories have on so many people around the

world. When we hear a story no matter what humans will always judge and analyse what they

are hearing, The Truth about stories illustrates how stories have shaped and continue to shape our

societies, as well as our personal mythologies and therefore our choices in life. This is why I

would like to conclude this analysis with two quotes by Thomas King, you have to be careful

with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories that you are told., because if

you believe everything you hear then a lot of your views on the world and about people would be

false. The truth about stories is, that's all we are..


Andie Hayhurst

References

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Quill and Quire, 15 Dec. 2003,

quillandquire.com/review/the-truth-about-stories-a-native-narrative/.

Thomas King > Quotes. Thomas King Quotes (Author of The Inconvenient Indian),

www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/25892.Thomas_King.

Welcome to the Purdue OWL. Purdue OWL: Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism,

owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/1/.