Dans le cadre du projet Graines de Critiques Littéraires, les élèves de la terminale L du lycée Saint-Paul (Roanne) ont lu Barbarian Days: A surfing life de William Finnegan. Ils proposent un retour critique en anglais de leur lecture orienté autour d’un mot-clef. Voici la contribution n°5 sur le thème de « L’obsession ».
Some call it dedication, others call it psychotic. As for me, I would say that obsession if a part of our life. The definition of “obsession” that we can find in the dictionary is the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire… It can be determined by people around us. Passion is a positive obsession, obsession is a negative passion.
Obsession and addiction are really tied together. They are both almost exactly the same except for one factor which is control. Being obsessed over something means that we are still in control of our habits whereas being addicted is being enslaved to a habit or something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. So, even if they are closely tied together those two terms are not the same.
Power is something else we don’t understand about obsession, because it can quickly spread to become something more overwhelming. Therefore, it’s not something to play with because when it’s exciting, it’s going to grow and grow until it reaches the top. At that point, obsession can only bring out the worst in a person.
Obsession isn’t born by itself; it’s born from the person’s mind, from that person’s will and needs. Anybody can have an obsession, and actually it’s only a matter of time when someone has an obsession. Humans are complex creatures and we all have needs and will and therefore, we all have obsessions.
The term obsession is used as being negative. It’s the domination of thoughts by ideas or images. The state of being obsessed over something can fog up someone’s true thoughts of how they feel. In the book “Barbarian Days” by William Finnegan, we immediately understand that his obsession is his passion, so it’s not something negative, but a way of life, he enjoys surfing, it’s something positive, maybe an escape from the “real world”.