Sunday, April 18, 2021

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Literary Studies | Unit 3 | Lesson 2 How to Live Before You Die | Essay | Steve Jobs


NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Literary Studies | Unit 3 | Lesson 2 How to Live Before You Die | Essay | Steve Jobs

How to Live Before You Die


Steve Jobs’ speech 'How to Live Before You Die' adopts a tripartite structure and uses personal stories to communicate a message of resilience and personal integrity. He delivered this inspiring speech at Stanford University 2005 commencement address.

The first story he narrates is on what he calls connecting the dots. He reveals how his mother intended to adopt him. At birth, the family that was to adopt him changed their mind. However, he was adopted by another family. He joined Reed College when he was 17. His decision to drop out of collage was risky at the time. He learnt to follow his instinct by studying the courses he liked. His success depended on his own initiative. He was not influenced by the views of the people around him.

Steve’s second story is on loss and love. Steve reflects on his beginning of a career with Mr. Woz. They developed the brand of Apple from the family garage office into a multibillion company after years of hard work. Despite this success, Steve became jobless as he was fired by the Board of Directors. He then began the Next Company. He found himself back in Apple after it bought his company.

The last story Steve narrates is on the topic of death. He discloses his painful situation with cancer of the pancreas. The doctor told him that this type of cancer was incurable. The result of biopsy indicated that his cancer could be cured through surgery. He was able to go for the surgery. He performed his roles which he could not do before the surgery. He considered death was a transitional part of life that replaces the old with the new. His opines that one should not allow the fear of death determine his or her life.

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. What is the story about Steve Jobs’ birth?
His biological mother decided to put him up for adoption before his birth. She felt that he should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for him to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. When he was born they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. Later he was adopted by an uneducated couple.

b. What does he mean when he says, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”?
Our future is unpredictable. Our unsuccessful efforts at the moment can turn out to sow the seed of our unimaginable success in the future.

c. What happened when Steve Jobs turned 30?
When Steve Jobs turned 30, he got fired from a company he started.

d. Jobs contends that you need to love to do what you do in order to be great at it. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
I agree with Jobs. We have faith in something we love. We love to do such thing with interest. When we are interested in doing the things, we become successful.

e. Is death really life’s greatest invention?
Yes, death is really life's greatest invention. No one has ever escaped it. It's life's change agent.

Reference the context

a. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

“We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.”

i. Who was the baby boy?

newly born Steve Jobs

ii. What does ‘do you want him?’ mean?

Steve Jobs’ biological mother asked his parents who were on a waiting list to adopt him.

iii. Who does ‘they’ refer to?

'They' refers to Steve Jobs' parents, who were on a waiting list.

b. Explain the following lines:

i. “You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

In the given line, the speaker suggests us to believe in ourselves. This approach allows us to recognize our ability to accomplish goals we set. When we trust ourselves we become optimistic about the future and motivated to get the things done. This makes all the differences in our life.

ii. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

In the given line, the speaker's opinion is that our life is limited and we shouldn't be trapped by other's principle. This can mislead us. We must listen to our own inner voice. We should have the courage to follow our heart and intuition. The courage we have can make ourselves what we want to be. Everything is secondary.

c. What does he mean by “don’t settle”?

Don't settle means we should not accept something which isn't as good as we want it to be. When we are terrified of change, failure and taking risks we settle in life. The way to do great work is to love what we do. If we don't find it, we should keep look for it. Excellence is a place where people who reject to settle for mediocrity lives. It is a journey of continuous progression towards the goals in our life.

d. Which style of speech is used by the speaker to persuade the audience?

The speaker adopts a tripartite structure and uses autobiographical anecdotes to communicate a message of resilience and personal integrity. The speech is short and simple, and heavily based on encouragement.

e. It is not easy to motivate others. How do you think Steve Jobs’ speech is so inspiring?

Steve Jobs’ speech is well crafted as it's emotional, inspiring and simply structured. The speech is true and not a feeble. There is a living example standing in front of the audiences. The speech emphasizes triumph over adversity. Each of the three stories from Jobs' life involves struggle or sacrifice. They help to take listeners to another world, allowing them to put themselves in the speaker's shoes. Once they are connected to a speaker, an audience is more likely to follow the speaker's advice.

f. Why do you think Steve Jobs used the personal narrative story telling technique in his speech? What influence does it have on the audiences?

Steve Jobs used the personal narrative story telling technique in his speech to encourage his audience to follow their dream. He presents his successful career in life with his personal facts. This approach can give the audiences courage they didn't know they had.

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