“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
- Langston Hughes
Due to recent events that happened in September, this month’s OWLS topic will be on “Dreamers.” Every individual has a goal or ambition that they devote their whole life to with passion and courage—whether it’s landing your dream job, traveling, or finding the love of your life. However, there are those who spent their whole life working towards a dream but it was cut short due to an unexpected occurrence. Those people are left only to dream and wonder about the possibility.
This month’s topic will be dedicated to these characters in pop culture entertainment. We are not going to focus on the individuals that achieved their aspirations but instead, we will focus on characters that weren’t able to. We will explore what happens to characters who had their wings forcefully cut off as well as those who gave up before they even started their journey. We will also discuss what it means for “a dream to be deferred.”
(Main topic: Death Note. It will contain spoilers to the anime/manga)
Remember to Dream
What does it mean to dream? Dreams are something people have that helps them push forward and look forward to something. Whenever I think of dreams, I just remember Walk Disney and his dream to make family happy whenever people visit Disneyland. Walt Disney is a man with a wonderful and his dream is make the world’s happiest place. He not only created the happiest cartoon mouse and films, he also designed Disneyland, an amusement park filled with wonderful characters and multiple worlds. Disneyland is not like other amusement parks like Universal Studios or Knotts Berry Farm; you didn’t walk into world behind movie studio or a western world, you entered a world where imagination was real. Walt Disney’s dream is sill alive and he died with an accomplishment.
Unlike Walt Disney, Light Yagami had a dream of a perfect world but it was not fun and cute; it was a world filled with death and fear.
Death Note: A tale of Cat and Mouse
Before we start, let me introduce new people what is Death Note. Death Note is a series that started off in the manga and created by Tsugumi Ohba and the artist was Takeshi Obata. The manga ran for 12 volumes with a profile book (a pseudo volume 13). The series got so popular it became an anime, it had multiple live-action movies, drama series, novels, musical and even the recent Netflix movie.
The story is about a young man named Light Yagami who finds a black notebook after seeing it fall from the sky. After he finds it, he makes a shocking discovery when he finds out that he can kill anyone by writing someone’s name on the book as long as he remembers the name and face. The book actually came from a Shinigami, “Death God”, named Ryuk and he tells Light he purposely dropped the book into the human world because he was bored. With the power to kill anyone, Light decides to use the Death Note to kill off evil people and rule the world where good people can live in peace. However, after hearing reports of sudden death, the police decides to call these deaths, murder and they enlist the help of the world’s greatest detective, L. After hearing about someone going by the name of Kira and killing people with only a face and name, L decides to take the challenge and to try and capture Kira and end his new world order.
Light – A man with a dream
The story of the series focuses on Light Yagami; at first, he is a typical straight-A student who surpasses in knowledge in all category in school. Even though he has all this knowledge in school, he finds life boring. Like I mentioned, Light soon finds the Death Note and finds a new purpose in life and a dream: he decides he wants to become god of the world and eradicate all evil and be the new ruler of his own utopia world. At first, he quickly follows his dream by killing off criminals with the help of his father’s police files; Light is son of head chief of NPA, he is Soichiro Yagami. Light waste no time on killing evil and all the mysterious deaths causes a division with people and he goes under the name, Kira. Some people praise Kira and thanks him for killing bad people but others reject him and calls him evil. Nevertheless, Light puts his life on line as he continues to play as god and judges the world. However, he puts his dream on hold when he learns that someone named L decides to challenge him and promises to stop his dream.
Light goes through extreme measures to protect his identity and to also fulfill his dream. He would use people like using a lovesick fan girl named Misa and use her as bait to get close to L or he could also forfeit the book and lose his memory and forge a temporary alliance with L and seek out “Kira”. With the power of his knowledge, the Death Note, his followers, and his father’s team, he will do whatever it takes to purge the world and achieve a level beyond humanity.
Even though it sounds fairly easy to have this dream, Light can sometimes go too far when reaching his dreams.
Dreams: Are they worth the sacrifice?
Dreams are not easy since it takes not only dedication but it also require sacrifice. To some people, people may sacrifice money, time or other reasons to receive a stepping stone to their dream. Light, in the other hand, gives up his humanity in hopes of being a god. Here is some main points in which shows his humanity downfall:
- After being horrified of killing his first victims, he continued to kill more people.
- Contemplated on killing his family if they found out about his Death Note.
- He killed a couple FBI agents in which they tried to thwart Kira.
- He manipulates Misa and fakes his love for her and makes her risk her life to protect his life.
- He risks Misa’s life and forces Rem to sacrifice her life to kill L.
- He considers killing his sister when she gets kidnapped by Mello and the mafia.
- He cheats on Misa with a colleague named Kiyomi Takada and even forced her to commit suicide.
- After killing L, he kills some of his own teammates.
- He thought about killing Sayu, his own little sister, when she gets kidnapped by the mafia and they demanded the Death Note.
- Tried to kill Near and even his own teammates.
- He killed L!
Anyway, you get the point, Light starts out being acting human and killing criminals but then he ends being a killer. In the beginning, Light was just young man who wanted to be a hero to the weak and kill off monsters, but he ends up dying as a monster he became. Light downfall was caused by his overconfidence and betrayal towards his team.
Conclusion: Some dreams can die
Light Yagami was a regular human who wanted to ascend to a god title and was willing to give up his own morality and humanity in exchange for power. Even with the help of followers and a notebook with a power to kill, Light lost and died as a mortal man.
In the real world, we may not have a notebook that can kill people but we do have moments where people’s dream do not come to light. Whatever the circumstances maybe, death in a family, failed education, or other unavoidable moments, sometimes a person will not able to make a dream to reality. To those who are eager to revive that dead dream, some may act like Light and risk it all for their own desires.
However, in the Christian life, God can also close the door of your dream because He might give us something even better. If you ever read the book of Genesis about Joseph, Joseph had a dream where his brothers and his family bowed down to him. At first, they didn’t believe him but after Joseph got sold to slavery by his brothers, framed for rape, and thrown into prison, God was still with him and made that dream into reality. Joseph led Eygpt during a famine and once he saw his brothers again, they bowed to him but Joseph showed him love and forgiveness. In short, even in a Christian life, we can also feel sad whenever God tells us no and our hopes may feel like broken glasses.
Going back to the topic, it’s important to continue to have dreams. Don’t be like Light Yagami and be selfish and hurt others, be like Joseph and listen to what God wants you to do. Light desires led to many deaths and he became a hated target to his own people; don’t be like him and become hated. When a dream dies, make sure you don’t die with it, carry it and revive with love and determination, and it will blossom.
I hope you enjoyed this post. The next blog tour post is Andrea in All Andrealinia. Her post is on 10/6.