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Analysis of “Joyas Voladoras” by Brian Doyle

These days, people predominantly lead a speedy lifestyle, they always hurry for coming in time to work or university, run for important meetings, and do their best to fulfill deadlines. The modern pace of life can be compared with a continuous rush without the finish point. Time management is the term, which is constantly heard everywhere – in blogs, articles, and self-developing books. People are less careful of others, their feelings, and ask for help, as they have no opportunities to be late for their meaningful errands. Passengers in the street do not notice the beauty of the architecture and some changes in the local areas and do not pay attention to nature, as they are deeply in thoughts about their plans and the methods of managing the time. In the article, «Joyas Voladoras» Brian Doyle addresses this hot-button issue and presents his reflections on the pace of life and love. This way, the purpose of the paper is to analyze the article «Joyas Voladoras», determine its message, lessons, and the extent, to which they get across.

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Despite having a small size, the essay contains profound meaning, which can hardly be understood after reading for the first time. It is worth starting with an explanation of the title of the article. “Joyas Voladoras” is a metaphor, this phrase means “flying jewel”, namely hummingbird (Doyle). This name was created by the first white explorers in America, and Brian Doyle highlights that the New World appears to be the only habitat of hummingbirds. In the article, the writer attempts to transmit his ideas by drawing an analogy with animals, their physical characteristics, and their behavior. “The main characters” of this story are a skillful hummingbird with brief life, a slow tortoise, which lives up to 200 years, and a giant blue whale with the biggest heart in the world. Comparing these animals and their lifestyles, Brian Doyle supplies his considerations on life, its pace, and love.

The author starts his narrative by describing this creature and making the readers admire it. Although it is tiny, and its heart is compared with a “pencil eraser”, the abilities of the little creature are surprising. Hummingbirds can visit more than a thousand flowers a day, dive at sixty miles per hour, fly backwards, and travel for a long time without rest. This list is impressive; however, the bird is very close to death while resting. During cold nights they are highly likely to starve, during periods of hunger, they may die unless they find something sweet. Moreover, such high activity takes a significant amount of energy. The author marks: “the price of their ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer more heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures than any other living creature” (Doyle). This way, the life endurance of hummingbirds is only two years. Brian Doyle outlines that every organism on the earth has a limit for heartbeats, which consists of two billion times, and the little bird spends her limit exceptionally rapidly due to its multiple abilities.

By contrast with hummingbirds, tortoises are slow, and their activity is not varied. Therefore, they spend their two billion heartbeats significantly longer than the aforementioned creature, and their life span may reach two hundred years old. The writer notices: “It’s expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine. You melt the engine” (Doyle). Comparing a small but rapid and skillful bird with a slow tortoise, the author draws attention to the two options of the pace of life. The first is full of action, travels, and adventures, but very short. It reminds me of the modern lifestyle, which people stick to predominantly. The second approach is off-speed, peaceful, calm, and much longer than the previous one. Brian Doyle does not insist on a particular solution or approach, he encourages readers to reflect on this topic, match their dreams and current activity, and make their own conscious decision.

Another message of the essay regards love, and the author draws an analogy with the natural world, too, to introduce this topic. The writer presents information on the structure of the hearts of different animals, for instance, mammals and birds have four chambers hearts. Highlighting that people hold a lot of feelings and concerns in this organ during life, Brian Doyle describes blue whales as the most giant animals in the world with the biggest heart. He poetically compares it with a room: “It’s as big as a room. It is a room, with four chambers. A child could walk around it, head high, bending only to step through the valves” (Doyle). Being the largest animals in the natural world, blue whales are the ones, which appear to be one of the less explored ones. People have obtained relatively little information about their ways of communication, mating and eating habits, and travel patterns. However, the fact that blue whales with the biggest hearts always travel in pairs and their moaning cries can be heard for miles underwater is precise.

This way, these two primary messages of the article logically transmit the lessons, which the author wants the readers to teach. The first presents a point that every single second of life is meaningful, and every moment and happening should be taken advantage. To introduce the second lesson, he mentions another metaphor and compares the heart to the house, in which a person lives alone. The person lets the new acquaintances in his or her life by opening the windows. Therefore, people can choose who they are willing to share their emotions and experience with, but the majority prefer to live alone due to their “constantly harrowed heart” (Doyle). During growing up, the hearts are “bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore” and then repaired (Doyle). However, there are still unforgettable and touching happening, which make opening the windows of the heard worth doing.

In conclusion, despite the simplicity and briefness of the essay, its sense should not be underestimated. The author manages to impress, intrigue, touch the bottom of the heart, and provide readers with deep insights into each person’s most vital aspects, which are their life and love. The messages and lessons of the article are very close and vital and inspire us to reconsider habits, lifestyles, and values. The writer highlights the hazard of the rapid pace of life, which is common nowadays. People do not manage to enjoy each second, remember the pleasant moments and pay attention to the wonderful events, which they are surrounded. Moreover, Brian Doyle gently encourages the reader not to be afraid of opening their hearts and souls to new people and acquaintances. These aspects make life adventurous, enjoyable, and full of unforgettable experiences.

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Work Cited

Doyle, B. “Joyas Voladoras.” The American Scholar, 2012, Web.

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