Justice and Utilitarianism (IRJE #4)

In Justice, by Michael J. Sandel, a professor of philosophy at Harvard, the author introduces the meaning of justice, and what it is. He further describes justice as something that is meant to be done; the right thing to do. As the book continues into chapter 2, the author moves the topic onto utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a concept, in general, which promotes happiness and pleasure, but on the other hand, opposes things that can cause unhappiness or damage. The author uses an example to describe the following:

We all like pleasure and dislike pain. The utilitarian philosophy recognizes this fact and makes it the basis of moral and political life. Maximizing utility is a principle not only for individuals but also for legislators. In deciding what laws or policies to enact, a government should do whatever will maximize the happiness of the community as a whole. (pg. 34)

In the following quote, the author Michel J. Sandel describes the concept and philosophy of utilitarianism, with detailed examples. He further states that the following concept not only benefits an individual but also a community. The author additionally states that this should be promoted amongst governments,  “to ensure and maximize the happiness of the community as a whole.” I am yet to fully understand this heavy concept and is out of three ranges I could fathom. However, this book has influenced me and was memorable enough for me to trace back to the following book I read not a long time ago.

– Jm.Y



Personal Writing #3 – A Friday Night

This long weekend was very hectic and many things were going on in my life. I had a lot of work to do, and personal problems to solve, but I also had to go through them with all the errands I had to run during that time. On Thursday night, I tried to improve my social skills and make more friends and I decided to go bowling. It did not go very well, leaving me with more anxiety and panic attacks. I tried my best to quickly end the game and escape the place. After that, I went back to my room and tried my best to gain relief. That is how my long weekend started off. While I believed that my time was wasted and the weekend was hopeless, I finally got to have a time of relief the next day. I stayed in my room and spent time truly for mental and physical recovery. Every day in my life seems very miserable; everything feels meaningless and exhausting. Things that shouldn’t be happening in my life tend to happen on a daily basis, and these sometimes make me anxious. However, I try to motivate myself by committing to my hobbies, such as reading and listening to music, or just by staying in my room protected from the brutal world and reality. These work very well, and I belive it is just a part of life – growing up.

IRJE #3 – Arsené Lupin

By continuing with the novel “The Tales of Arséne Lupin”, the main character, Arśene Lupin’s identity and information have been fully revealed, and he has turned out to be a thief. As he further on continued his thievery, he is, later on, finds himself arrested by the police, with his details being leaked to the public:

“Arsène Lupin is on your vessel, first cabin, blonde hair, wound right fore-arm, traveling alone under name of R……..”

At that moment, a terrible flash of lightning rent the stormy skies. The electric waves were interrupted. The remainder of the dispatch never reached us. Of the name under which Arsène Lupin was concealing himself, we knew only the initial.

If the news had been of some other character, I have no doubt that the secret would have been carefully guarded by the telegraphic operator as well as by the officers of the vessel. But it was one of those events calculated to escape from the most rigorous discretion. The same day, no one knew how, the incident became a matter of current gossip and every passenger was aware that the famous Arsène Lupin was hiding in our midst. (170)

By this, the author gives the reader further details of the mysterious Arséne Lupin and paves the way for his future actions. The book is yet to have an ending, with about four chapters left. I am curious about what would happen next and am looking forward to reading further into the book.

Hollow: Part #1

The morning sun beams at my eyes. The cautious wind from the open window sails along my body. The breeze left behind the scent of a lively orange tree from the backyard. The world spins as I sit up on my bed. I screamed into the vast emptiness of the house. No sounds were to be heard; a few seconds later, I found my voice echoing off the walls of the building. I step out of the bed. The cold wooden floor haunts the warmness of my foot; leaving again, nothing but emptiness behind. 

I step downstairs and out the door. I am once again greeted by the wind. I feel the wind piercing through my body, leaving the cold inside. I make my way to my backyard. It is very weird that I feel everything; including the grass touching the surface of my foot and the dirt rubbing onto the soles. I can feel the temperature and humidity of the air, as it passes through my head and stomach. I have never felt this free and refreshing as if my body is hollow. I stand in the middle of my yard, staring at the vigorous sunlight; with the warmth absorbed into my body. How peculiar. 



How Full is Your Bucket?

In the non-fiction novel “How Full is Your Bucker” by Tom Rath, the author explains a simple theory regarding the emotions and feelings of an individual. He uses the object bucket to represent a person’s emotion; ranging from happiness to sadness. Additionally, he adds on the concept of “dipping” a bucket, which means taking away the contents of it – by causing a person to have a bad emotion towards an individual – which includes dipping the bucket themselves. These factors come together and create a society as a whole – with people “filling” and “dipping” their buckets every day. In the first section of the book, the author gives the reader an explanation of the concept: 

So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them. It’s an important choice – one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.”

This quote has come up to me, as I found the concepts the author used to represent our social lives to be an effective way of creating awareness of one’s words or actions toward another individual. This book has also made me rethink my social skills – and encouraged me to do good deeds rather than things that can negatively influence another person’s social life. 

– November 2, 2022

Page 5113


Page “5113”  – Jm.Y

       I wonder. What keeps me alive? What motivates me to go on with my life? What makes me try my best although nothing is really rewarded? Every day, I start a new part of my life. I start off with a blank page. I start filling up the page with every hour, every minute, and every second I spend in the day. Sometimes these stories end up being fortunate, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they come up with a good ending, while some do not. This cycle continues; the pages stack on top of each other; creating a long story – life. Everyone’s stories are unique to one. They all have different settings, plots, conflicts, and resolutions. My story of life is very hectic. There are unexpected things going on in my life as well as weird happenings. However, good things tend to happen unexpectedly, as do bad things. This keeps me motivated to live life and continue my story – with every page added every day. The story isn’t over yet – there are more things that are waiting for me – whether that is positive or negative. I still have a lot to go on with my adventure. In fact, I am on Pg. 5113. 

– Jeongmin Yoon

Comparison of “All quiet on the Western Front”,”Soldier’s Home”, and “They shall not grow old”

             After reading the novel “All quiet on the Western Front”, the short story “Soldier’s home” and the movie “They shall not grow old”, I have observed several similarities as well as differences in these media discussing the topic of World War One. All three stories have different perspectives from different sides of the war. In “All Quiet on the Western Front”, the main character Paul Baumer tells the readers the experience of the war from a german perspective, while “soldier’s home” and “They shall not grow old” both show a different experience (British, American). 

While all three media discuss the same war, that happened at the same time period, the experiences and perspectives of the soldiers vary from which side they fight for. “All quiet on the western front” and “Soldier’s Home” both mainly show the experience of being in the war, rather than the combat itself. On the other hand, the video “They Shall Not Grow Old”, mainly discusses the consequences and results of the war; such as the deaths and suffering of the soldiers – showing how inhumane and cruel the war was. 

These stories have made me rethink what the war was actually like – the experience and life of the soldiers during combat. I believe these 3 pieces of media are very suitable for raising awareness regarding World War One. 

IRJE 1: Arséne Lupin

          In the stories of Arséne Lupin by Maurice Leblanc, the main character/narrator, Arsene Lupin is introduced as a mysterious and shadowy figure; with the book not providing the details of who he actually is. The impression of “Shadowy” and “Mysterious” is meant to be a part of Arsene Lupin’s characteristics. As the story proceeds, Arsene Lupin locates a mysterious card under his carpet: the seven of hearts. 

“Inch by inch, I made a careful examination of the room. It was in vain. Unless I could consider this a discovery: Under a small Persian rug, I found a card – an ordinary playing card. It was the seven of hearts; it was like any other seven of hearts in French playing cards, with this slight but curious exception: The extreme point of each of the seven red spots or hearts was pierced by a hole, round and regular as if made with the point of an owl” (pg.5) 

This quote came to my mind particularly, as it is the first quote that sets a clear point of the book – a mystery novel. While still unsure of the identity of Arsene Lupin, it points out some of his characteristics and personalities; such as his act of being cautionary and quick. The card seven of hearts was first introduced to the novel; which will now be the main mystery for the readers to solve. As the story continues, more and more evidence will hopefully reveal the hidden identity of the veiled Arséne Lupin. 

 –   Jm. E . Yoon 

Comparison of “All quiet on the Western Front” and “Soldier’s Home’

The stories of Paul Baumer (All quiet on the Western Front) and Krebs (Soldier’s Home) have various similarities and differences that compare and contrast with each other. The two stories both share the same genre and setting – a historical fiction based on World War One. Both of the characters have been put in the same situation, regardless of their position and the side of the war. They both experience the same conflicts and problems resulting from this major conflict.  In “all quiet on the Western Front”, the main character (Paul Baumer) while fighting for Germany, goes through the experience of fighting in the war, suffering both physically and mentally. He has put all of his past life behind him and was forced to join the war. He has lost his past identity – a normal teenager well on his way to adulthood.

We are forlorn like children and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.”

This shows that he did not feel comfortable about it and further shows the transition of his identity – from being a young man to a soldier that fights for the country. He has gone through this for years – ending it with a peaceful death. 

On the other hand, in the short story “Soldier’s home”, the main character (Krebs) is introduced as an American soldier that has participated in World War One. He has suffered through the same conflicts as any other soldier did; however, he ended up being more comfortable on the battlefield compared to his lonely past life. of the lies, he had told.

“All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now lost their cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.”

This shows that Kreb’s past life was rather miserable – up to the point where the experience of war was comparably better. He felt the actual “use” of himself – something that he did not feel before the war. This contrasts with the perspective of Paul Baumer, who did not like being in the war at all. 

Both Paul and Krebs went through the same war at the same time. They both had similarities as well as differences in perspective and point of view. Nonetheless, they have suffered through the war – something that we would not be able to completely understand and experience throughout our lives.  

Jm. Y- 2022/10/11

My Response On The Novel “All Quiet On the Western Front”

Overall, I have enjoyed reading the book “All quiet on the Western Front” as I find it informative and poetic in many aspects of literature and language. Eric Maria Remarque has used a variety of imagery and poetry to visualize the viciousness and brutality of the Great World War One. This book also gives the reader the perspective of an actual soldier that participated in the war and not just an overview of what happened, providing detail of what the experience was in the war. The book also shows the main character Paul Baümer’s friendship and life outside the war, which takes up a huge portion of the book.

 The horrors of war depicted throughout the novel, especially the atrocities committed on the soldiers were beyond what I could fathom. I particularly was shocked by the gruesome image of buried corpses emerging from the graveyard and groups of living men falling dead, due to the force of shelling when Paul and his friends were pounded by artillery where they were hiding to lay barbed wire. The soldiers were living on the edges of life with every step they took and knew that death could happen any day.

“Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without home that I can confront them without fear. The life that has borne through these years is still in my hands and my eyes.” (pg.295)

Paul’s last words made me realize how hopeless and miserable he must have been after the war took everything and his friends. Through his emotions, I sympathize with soldiers and the horrors they go through. Paul’s friendship with Kemmerich, Müller, Kropp, Kat, and Bentinck also resonates with me in that I value my friendship highly.

I found multiple connections between the content of this book and my life such as my value in friendship and anxiety. The main character in the book (Paul Baumer) goes through various struggles and dilemmas while still fighting in the war. I believe these links with my current lifestyle and mental state, as I face these conflicts every day while living in a modern world and society. The world we live in and the battlefield in World War One have lots of things in common, and thus reflect how brutal and vicious life can be. However, we humans tend to move on with our lives, leaving all the struggles and conflicts behind. This book has given me the opportunity to reflect not only on my personal life but on the world, we currently live in. In my opinion, historical Fiction; fiction in general is a good way of discussing such topics, as there are no limits on expression and interpretation. This book was a good example of doing so, and I am willing to read more books on similar topics in the future.

Jm. Y

Class Intro

Hi! My name is Jeongmin. 

I am from Seoul, South Korea and It is my second year here at Brookes. I enjoy listening to music as well as spending time alone without having to encounter social interference. 

I am delighted to be in this class, and my goal would be to improve my writing and reading skills, as they are not up to my expectations. I would try my best to fulfill those expectations I have set for myself in this class. 

I look forward to meeting more people and learning more as I progress through the academic year. 

jmyoon –