Having precise time told by his wristwatch. He

Having a set routine is an excellent way to maintain a thorough and routine lifestyle. However, too much of this may cause one to lose sight of what is most important. Life can be a beautiful and wonderful thing, only if a person allows it to. Always being so strict with structure, as well as time, can restrict the enjoyment of such amazing things that we are given in life. Likewise, in the movie Stranger Than Fiction, directed by Marc Forster, the director is very effective at including this meaningful theme through the life of one of his characters. Harold Crick helped showcase that a life dictated by a wristwatch leads to unhappiness and boredom. Leaving no time in between a busy schedule does not give any opportunity to explore the world and gain new exciting experiences. Living meticulously around the time on a watch, creates a life barrier, and obstructs life from having actual meaning. Harold Crick is a man that revolved his life around his very strict routine. Doing the same thing every day, at the same time and the same exact place. Most everything in his life remained constant; he never strayed from this routine and makes sure he followed the precise time told by his wristwatch. He made certain that “every weekday, for 12 years, he would brush each of his 32 teeth, 76 times. 38 times back and forth. 38 times up and down,” (Stranger Than Fiction) and never skipped a brushstroke. Harold would, essentially, repeat his same day over and over again. His life seemed so out of place when straying from this uniform lifestyle, so Harold Crick always started his day by putting his schedule on repeat. It is made clear that his life was redundant and nothing new and exciting ever seemed to occur, all due to his wristwatch.  His mundane lifestyle centered around “infinite numbers, endless calculations, and remarkably few words. And his wristwatch said even less” (Stranger Than Fiction). Literally everything in his life revolved around his watch, not even giving him a second to relax and breath. Counting the time on his wrist and robotically going through the motions of his repetitive life, was all Harold Crick knew, so he would do just so. Living life strictly by the time told from a wristwatch leads to an extremely unhappy life. Harold Crick had no time remaining to make friends and hold conversations with people living in the world around you, restrains a person’s ability to enjoy life. Humans are created to communicate and operate with healthy, built up relationships. Having only himself and his watch, “Harold lived a life of solitude. He would walk home alone. He would eat alone. And at precisely 11:13 everynight, Harold would go to bed alone, placing his wristwatch to rest on the nightstand beside him” (Stranger Than Fiction). His wristwatch, essentially, was his only source of company because he solefully revolved his life around this set time. Harold did not have meaningful friendships because did not he give himself a moment spare in between his routine. Doing everything alone, with just himself and his wristwatch, made Harold an incredibly lonely person. This strictness that dictated Harold Crick, blocked him from having a fun filled days with a touch excitement, rather, his life was quite boring. He did not even allow his imagination to run astray or waste his precious time. A person who did not care too much about time would let their “minds fantasize about their upcoming day, or even try to grip onto their final moments of their dreams. Harold just counted brushstrokes” (Stranger Than Fiction) because he was so caught up in a small thing that it took control of his life. Having such a fogged mindset that is structured around time, evidently restricted Harold from enjoying even the littlest things in life. He was too focused on his narrowed pathway, like counting his steps, and making it to the bus on time, that he is missed out on the world around him. Meeting new people, gaining experience, and the actually having fun was all shadowed in Harold Crick’s redundant routine he called life.As soon as Harold Crick stops paying attention to his watch as much, he starts to become more happy and life becomes fun. Taking a big step out of his comfort zone, he lets go of his structure and soon realizes life actually has meaning. His life was more than just a time restriction, “and Harold’s wristwatch wasn’t about to let him miss another opportunity” (Stranger Than Fiction). He branched out, built new meaningful relationships with people, and starting trying new things that he never got to test out before. He began to grow “stronger in who he was, what he wanted, and why he was alive. Harold no longer ate alone. He no longer counted brushstrokes” (Stranger Than Fiction) and his life finally had purpose. The future started to seem bright and exciting rather than just uniform. Harold Crick’s took a turning point, and his wristwatch no longer had power over him. Harold was no longer a slave to his wristwatch. An object as simple as a wristwatch can have so much authority over someone’s life. Overcoming the challenges of wanting to maintain structure, can open up new opportunities and allow new experiences to be gained. Stranger Than Fiction is a very complex and poetic film and really displays that life can have meaning beyond normal routine. Marc Forster encourages all to open up new eyes to a more beautiful world than what our restrictions allow us to see. Enjoy the life you are given, participate in new exciting activities and meet new people. Stop allowing time to dictate life, and find the find balance between everyday routine and clutter, and enjoyment of things that creates happiness. There is life beyond a wristwatch. Work CitedStranger Than Fiction. Directed by Mark Forster, performances by Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman, Columbia Pictures, 2006.


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