The book entitled Black Body Radiation and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe written by Jeff Brown tells about the story of a fifteen year old science genius in the name of Augustus who was granted with the power to travel to another dimension, time, or space by a mysterious being. Using his power, he traveled across different dimensions, time, and space of his existence. He had learned a lot from the journey and other people he met.
The journey, indeed, let him realize his self-existence and learn some life lesson taught to him by some friends and other beings he had met, along them are his real parents that are the exact opposite of he had in earth. This story of Mr. Brown offers many things to ponder upon such as issues we encounter everyday that result to big changes in our lives, values that modern matters need understanding and lessons that are applicable to life; that real happiness does not come from material things and that big surprises comes in small packages.
The work of Mr. Brown is certainly heart-whelming and enriching for having that sense of purpose we have in life, even though the present of the omnipresent narrator sometimes provide his own musings in between the parts of the story. Augustus, the main protagonist in the story, is a son of a wealthy family. He always wanted to be on top of the honor list. Surprisingly, though he was a science genius, he was always too shy to look after some girls. Also, despite all the material wealth he possessed, he never seemed to be contented at all.
He had this sense of wanting something or someone that would complete his existence here on earth. In the beginning of the story, the narrator illustrates this fact with the incident wherein he went out with his bike and before he walks out the door; his actions remained unnoticed by both his parents. In this scene, Augustus had this great pang on his insides; he had the feeling that his parents would not want him to stay and be safe in the house. The fact that Augustus is the sole child, he always seeks a moment wherein his existence is needed with whom he could protect.
It is stated in the first part of the story, “He approached it like he would his sister about to bite into the last piece of cake, that is, if he had one – a sister that is” that would somehow agree to the idea that he do want a sister and maybe, it is because of his parents’ jobs that caused them of not having a child, a sister for Augustus. In his journey, we could observe that as the story progresses, he found things that taught him to be a different Augustus than before.
His imaginations, although as wild as anyone could have, eventually came to life and with this, he manage to think only the positive things he could. That could be the reason why he had met his real parents in an unreal world where he was hoping to find the different parents, the one he desired to have in the real world. It had been evident in the story that his parents do not care for him in his development as a person except for matters involving his performance in school or when they have to attend to Church festivities (Easter and Christmas).
It was his parents from the other world that taught him the biggest blessing that he had and that is about what happiness really means and how to keep a relationship as sturdy and long as he could. Augustus’ character sought and found the main guiding principle of the story, that is, “without happiness, life is not worth living. ” Aside from this principle, he had also learned several other life-long lessons which he applied later in his life. Augustus’ character is a representation of the many unhappy souls seeking something that would make him feel complete despite the material advantages he had.
He started dealing with the difficulties brought about by the journey. Those difficulties stand for the modern issues some of us are facing today. His expedition to the other world could also mean for the changes we are having in life. His journey showed how he had manage to make decisions on his own in relation to his crossing to manhood and how he administer to find those things that would give him happiness. Augustus was gathering enough courage to find his life and the other characters he met helped him in this matter.
He had learned to find his life’s worth and appreciated it and the virtues it offered to him. Augustus learned to stand by his faith. He experienced loving and being loved in return through the daughter of the Queen. His spiritual quest had earned him to value love, life and religion as well. At the end of the journey, although it seemed that the story is intriguing because of the bias attempts of the omnipresent narrator to convey his ideas within the text, Augustus is entrusted to portray a very strong character since the beginning of the story that he managed to maintain throughout the narrative.
Being a reader, one should have managed to put himself in Augustus’ shoes and understand why he could well stand for any one of us. The maturity and self satisfaction he had receive from that high anticipated trip did not die in vain after the journey. The author had excellently dealt with changing Augustus’s and the readers’ life in a unique way shown in this book. Reference: Brown, J. (2007). Black Body Radiation and Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Lulu. com
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