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The Nature of Truth, Lies, and Identity in Dreams - Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream

Now that we have read about the philosopher Zhuangzi's dream of the butterfly, I want to hear your take on the nature of truth, lies, and identity and dreams.

For this assignment, you will complete one paragraph wherein you'll take a stance regarding the questions:

  • What is “truer”? The self that you show the world in waking life, or the self that you encounter in the dream?
  • Do we dream to avoid waking reality, or do we wake up to avoid the dream?
  • EXTRA CHALLENGE: Can our inner world (and the idea of a "true self within") hide the truth of the "outer self" or "public" mask? Is the "butterfly" allowing Zhuangzi to flee from the pressures of his outer life as Zhuangzi? In other words, does a belief in "truly being a butterfly" hide the horror of having to be Zhuangzi himself? Can we take refuge in the fantasy (butterfly) in order to make it through the day of having to be "ourselves" (or having to be yourself)? 

Topic sentence: 

Take a stance. Which is more true: your dream self or your waking self? Are both true? Are neither true?

Support your stance with evidence. If you feel that your dream self is more true, tell us why. If not, why is your outer self more true? 

This body section can include the following (you do not need to include all of these)

  • Use an anecdoteabout a dream you've had
    • Did this dream reveal the true nature of your desire?
    • Even if you have a crazy dream, is your true self the self you choose to be when you're awake?
  • Use an anecdoteabout fantasy in fiction (a video game, movie, or fictional narrative)
    • Does the game allow you to live out desires that are unacceptable in the real world? 
    • Ifyou're choosing a fictional narrative, do you identify with characters who do things that are not socially acceptable?
  • Include research about dreams from a reliable source (.org, .gov, .edu)
    • You can also look up Freud's theory of dreams and include a quote from his text, The Interpretation of Dreams


These are possible options for the concluding portion of the paragraph. 

  • Do we dream to avoid reality? Or do we wake up to avoid the dream? Which, to you, is more true?
  • Reconnect to your topic sentence.
  • Additionally, if you could speak to Zhuangzi about his butterfly dream, what would you tell him? 

Sentence combining requirements

In this paper, you will practice using the sentence combining methods (#1-5) that we've covered in this module. 

When you write your paragraph, please highlight or underline  the sentences that use the methods. While I want you to work on all five types of sentence combining, the following methods (#3, #4, and #5) are mandatory  in this paper. These are the following:

  • Coordination using , FANBOYS (#3) (Coordinating conjunctionsLinks to an external site.)
  • Coordination using ; FATCATS, (#4) (Conjunctive adverbsLinks to an external site.)
  • Subordination using WWWW.SUB-A-BEAUTIS (#5) (Subordinating conjunctionsLinks to an external site.

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