I Dreamed A Dream – An Essay

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 31, 2017

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Submitted: December 31, 2017




I Dreamed A Dream – An Essay on the Imperfect World.

Fantine was a beautiful young orphaned lady living in the street of in Paris. When she was younger, she became pregnant by a wealthy student. After the irresponsible man abandoned her, she was forced to look after their daughter on her own. A girl who was once beautiful and naive, Fantine had now no choice but to became a prostitute. Not only she sold her body for a living, but also her hair and front teeth. She lost all her beauty that once was on her… for the purpose of raising her daughter.

As her dream shattered right in front of her, and as she could no longer withstood her life, she woke up crying alone one night. She recalled that there was a time when men were kind, when their voices were soft and their words were kind. There was a time when love was blind, and love and life were exciting. There was a time for her when hope upon life was high and life was worth living. There was a time that love was pure and it would never die.

But, some men came and used her. They tore her hope apart. A man particularly took away her childhood and her innocence, made her pregnant and left her. She still hoped that he would come back, but he never did. Her dream of a great life together was gone. It was just a dream that could not be.

Under a small roof, sitting on an old bed with dirt on her face, in a filthy cloth wrapping her skeletal and thin body, she slowly cried,

“I had a dream my life would be...”.

As tears ran on her face, she screamed,

“So different from this hell I'm living… so different now from what it seemed...”.
In a profound sadness, she muttered, “Now life has killed the dream… I dreamed”

It is a scene from a movie Les Miserables (2012), a movie based on an 1862 classic novel with the same title written by Victor Hugo. The four-minute scene, performed by Anne Hathaway, was so deep. It was moving, it was a serious, unpretentious, an honest description about suffering. As the straight-forward title implies, it was mostly about miseries. Miseries that are not hidden, but revealed verbally.

Though the scene portrays a woman named Fantine, her expression is not of herself. It is a social commentary. Her pain represents what the society feels about life. Her pain represents people whose dreams are shattered, who lost hopes on life, and see that there is no way to change the situation. It presents the loss of innocence of those who once dreamed high about lives. The story of Fantine was not a Cinderella-kind of story. She got ill and never recovered. In her dying bed, looking for her daughter, she moaned, “Come Cosette (the name of her daughter), the light is fading.” But Cosette was nowhere to be found. The only comfort she had was from an unknown guy named Jean Valjean who stood beside her and promised he would take care of her daughter. Before she closed her eyes for the last time, she delivered her last words, “And tell Cossette I love her, I’ll see her when I wake”. She died in pain.

As we live, we tend to see that this is a world full of pain where anything good lies only in our ideal minds. The circumstances that we live in make us think that a good world is only an idea. It, therefore, cannot be true. As people generally say, “Be realistic. Life is not fair.”

It is indeed not a good world. Denying this would seem to be too naive. This is a world where pain and suffering exist. But it posits a question. How can we think of goodness? If such idea is present, it most likely exists because without goodness, we cannot define what suffering is. Without goodness, suffering and pain is normal and there should be nothing we complain about. There cannot be bad without good. Only when suffering and pain seems unfair, only when a violation of our idealism of the good is real, that there is such thing as goodness.

The presence of pain and suffering proves that we live in a world that is in violation toward our ideas of the good. Instead of disproving God, as some people do, the existence of pain and suffering confirms what God says about misery. Misery happens because men have fallen from the idea of the good. We have all fallen from grace because men have decided to turn their back against the source of goodness itself, God. Deciding that we do not want to live in “his good world”, God let us live our decisions. As such we now live the lives without the perfect goodness, but somehow still retain the idea of that perfect goodness in our mind. Deep down in her heart and mind, Fantine knew this. She cried, “So different from this hell I'm living… So different now from what it seemed”.

God confirms that the ideal good world still exists in Him. In such a perfectly good world, nothing impure or short of goodness exists*. There will be no more tears, no more death or mourning or crying of pain. These are the words from God Himself, the good**. He is not who gives goodness, but He is the goodness Himself, because God is Good***.

Looking back at Fantine’s life, her pain, suffering and miseries are not to be disproved nor denied. Beyond the fallen world that she had lived in, there is a world with goodness that is not fallen. So unbearable her suffering was that she cried out, “I dreamed that God would be forgiving”.

But that’s not a dream. If only Fantine had known. God does… forgive.

This is the fallen world that we live in, as Fantine described,

“There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting

There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting

There was a time. Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in times gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed, that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream
I dreamed”

*Rev. 21:27
** Rev. 21:4
*** (1 John 4:8)


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