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Complex Systems in Education
Complex Course on Writing English and American Essays for Advanced Students
English Language Programs Division Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs United States Information Agency, Washington, D. C. 1999
How to Use this Complex Course
Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231
MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays
Some years ago, a visitor to our office, a professor of English at a large foreign university, asked if the English Language Programs Division had published a book of American essays for foreign students – especially students at the advanced level. Having to respond in the negative, I was, nonetheless, “intrigued” by the idea of a collection of essays that would form a source of stimulating ideas or thoughts that could be thoroughly examined in the EFL classroom, discussed and debated in free conversation, and perhaps, ultimately, lead to a significant growth in the exchange of information between cultures – via the printed page. From this rationale, then, there issues an explanation for the title, Mind Speaks to Mind, which itself is an “exchange of information” between the editor and Edward Hoagland in his essay, “On Essays”! And, readers are encouraged to study this essay first as a type of guideline concerning the nature/purpose of the essay. It is found on page 26. For ease of reference, the essays are presented in alphabetical order according to the last name of the author. This does not mean, however, that teachers should adhere strictly to this order of presentation. Given the varied scope and subject matter of the essays, teachers should feel free to establish their own order of presentation within the classroom in accord with the needs and interests of their students. The reader who enjoys pursuing ideas into the realm of discussion and philosophical concert will find in this short collection ample proof that the liveliness of the essay is still an inspirational key to the unlocking of communication – that continually desired goal of every teacher of language the world around!
Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231
MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays
Furness Viorst. Maxine Hong Kuh. LeRoi (Amiri Baraka) Kingston. I. Lance Postman. Richard Ryan. Alexander Carnegie. Joseph Hayakawa. Katherine Lakoff. William Seattle. Judith THE ART OF MOTION PICTURES UP FROM MISERY ANGELS ON A PIN HOW I SERVED MY APPRENTICESHIP THE VIRTUES OF AMBITION OUR SON MARK ON ESSAYS CITY OF HARLEM THE MISERY OF SILENCE MODERN ART YOU ARE WHAT YOU SAY THE VALUE OF WORKING SILENT QUESTIONS AN EDUCATION IN LANGUAGE MINE. GOOD FRIENDS AND SUCH GOOD FRIENDS Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Edward Jones. Robin Morrow. Andrew Epstein. Chief Thompson. W. William F. Jr. Neil Rodriguez. Hoagland. ALL MINE MY PEOPLE WHY DO NOT SCIENTISTS ADMIT THEY ARE HUMAN? FRIENDS. Calandra. S.5 Contents Author Title of Essay Page Bettelheim. Bruno Buckley.
A psychologist. as everyone once understood religious art in church.6 BRUNO BETTELHEIM Bruno Bettelheim was born in Vienna in 1903 and emigrated to the United States from Austria in 1939. which comprises all others. is one of the most well-known. Inc. All age groups watch moving pictures. Children and adults watch them separately or together. each in its own way. and. that meant something to everybody. or some other art is more important to them – the art of the moving image is the only art truly of our time. The moving picture is our universal art. or music. it is the only experience common to parents and children. prove e t ey a represent. Bettelheim. But while in the past most went to church only on some days. in many ways and for many people. as did religious art in times past. and decorated outside and in with art. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. From FREUD'S VIENNA AND OTHER ESSAYS by Bruno Bettelheim. It is the only art today that appeals to all social and economic classes. published in 1960. in short. The latter experience helped to provide him with subject matter for a number of books concerning the inner lives of children. and differences in quality are important. most of all. for thirty years. Putting art on a pedestal robs it of its vitality. but many more gain it from the mediocre works that express the same vision as the masterpiece but in a more accessible form. Some gain their spiritual experience from the masterpiece. of which The Informed Heart. others not. the use of light and of colour. that appeals to everybody. The moving picture is thus by far the most popular art of our time. and they watch them for many more hours than people have ever spent in churches. because the medium is truly part of the message and the medium of the moving image is uniquely modern. has not limited his writings to the field of child psychology but has written on subjects ranging porn social change to fairy tales. Knopf. was on the faculty of the University of Chicago where he also was director of the Orthogenic School for Disturbed Children. The Art of Motion Pictures 1 Whether we like it or not – and many may disagree with my thesis because painting. dance and the beauty of nature. And as people used to go to church on Sundays (and still do). Bettelheim. This diversity of art objects achieves a unity. Some were great works of art. I do not think of art with a capital A. now everybody watches moving images every day. When the great medieval and Renaissance cathedrals were erected. It is always about us. and it is also the most authentically American of arts. these were popular works. however. whether it is in the form of the film or television. Everybody can understand it. This is as true church music or the church itself as for paintings and sculptures. nor of “high” art. stage design and music. the 1 Copyright © 1990 by Bruno Bettelheim. literature and acting. but every piece was significant and all took pride in each of them. When I speak here of the moving picture as the authentic American art of our time. so the majority today go to the movies on weekends. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays .
was more appropriate. When I speak of an affirmation of man. it offends what we most need: visions that bind us together in common experiences that make life worth living. of dignity in defeat. At the end. A different art for the elites and another one for average man tears society. Quite a few moving pictures have conveyed such visions. Nobody but he will ever know that he did it. Nothing could be more contra to the true spirit of art. The Last Laugh. grows before our eyes into greatness. Whenever art was vital. although it costs him his life.7 overarching vision and experience of a larger. it fails to address itself to that true humanity that is common to all of us. The story takes place in sixteenthcentury Japan. So among the worst detriments to the health development of the art of the moving pictures are efforts by aesthetes and critics to isolate the art of m from popular movies and television. Nobody but the audience observes it. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . nor would the entire population have conferred prizes on the winning dramatist. Two other films. only because he wants to be true to his new self. a celebration in which we. even if in the end it defeats him. he sacrifices his life and thus achieves the acme of suffering and human greatness. but one did not think of it in such disparate terms. embodying the people's vision that tyranny must be overthrown. the stately proceedings. Life that permits the lowest of men to achieve such dignity is life worth living. the pageantry of marching and fighting armies. this is his greatness. it was always equally popular with the ordinary man an the most refined person. each in its different form and way. but the hero is of all times and classes: he accepts a destiny into which he is projected by church and turns a false existence into a real one. important cosmos. He does it only for himself – it has no consequences whatsoever for anybody or anything else. the magnificent rendering of nature. are embodiments of the same visions of man. Michelangelo’s David stood at the most public place in Florence. The hero. as viewers. If art does not speak to all of us. a petty thief who turns impostor. very different. as it represented the myth of David and Goliath. watching the events on the stage. of struggles. provided both art and entertainment. it was simultaneously popular and great art. Nobody wants him to do so. the majority of the population would not have sat all day long entranced on hard stone slabs. the great beauty of the historical costumes. I do not mean the presentation of fake images of life as wonderfully pleasant. Neither should we. and is what forms the essence of art. although its original title. Had Greek drama and comedy meant nothing to most citizens. The first was known in the United States by its English name. the consummate acting – all these entrance us and convince us of the correctness of the vision here: the greatness of the most ordinary of men. He does it out of convict. of the greatness of discovering oneself and the other. as were the plays of Shakespeare. Everybody admired the statue. while it also related to their religious vision. The Last Man. the cloak-and-dagger story with its beguiling Oriental settings. In Kagemusha. Such a vision confers meaning and dignity on our existence. and entertainment that is down to earth. The medieval pageants and mystery plays out of which modern drama grew were popular entertainments. vicariously participate although we are saddened by the hero’s defeat. as it will defeat all who are mortal. It is the story of the doorman of a hotel who is demoted to cleaning washrooms. Life is best celebrated in the form of a battle against its inequities. common men and elites alike. To live well we need both: visions that i t us up. render parallel visions that celebrate life.
and so inspire in us visions that can sustain us. Only through incorporating such visions can we achieve satisfaction with our own life.B. What our society suffers from most today is the absence of consensus about what it and life in it ought to be. anxiety. but just because ours is a society based on individual diversity. In his study of narcissism. In both pictures we are led to admire a man's struggle to discover who he really is. common ancestry. Lewis summarises the myth by which Americans used to live: God decided to give man another chance by opening up a new world across the sea. A consensus in the present hence can be achieved only through a shared understanding of the past. a conquest that made us Americans.8 The other movie is Patton. he achieves tragic greatness. We used to have a myth that bound us together. affirm man and life. Such consensus cannot be gained from society’s present stage. as the myth about the conquest of Troy formed the Greeks. in the other. as do many others. a common religion. Such myths help to ward off feelings of isolation. for. defeat and transcend existential despair. it has been emphasised that an asocial. to find something to live for. turns to new cults and therapies not to free himself of his personal obsessions but to find meaning and purpose in life. it needs consensus about some over-arching ideas more than societies based on the uniform origin of their citizens. and purposelessness -. guilt. and that it is this type of personality that makes for the malaise. R. it must be based on a myth – a vision – about a common experience. as are found in totalitarian societies. they combat isolation and anomie. in The American Adam. But the United States is a country of immigrants. if we are to have consensus. Lately. as Homer's epics informed those who lived centuries later what it meant to be Greek.W. Myths permit us to examine our place in the world by comparing it to a shared idea. Contrary to rigid religions or political beliefs. My choice of these three films out of many is arbitrary. Many Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . For that the present is too close and too diversified. at least in principle and in theory. he is on society's highest level. What I want to illustrate is their celebration of life in forms appropriate to an age in which self-discovery may exact the highest possible price. this glorious land had almost inexhaustible natural resources.in short. "tortured by self-consciousness. or from fantasies about what it ought to be. Only a common myth can offer relief from the fear that life is without meaning or purpose. The myths by which they live are based on all of these. and we have lost an earlier sense of national vision and purpose. even chaos. coming from a great variety of nations. and the future too uncertain." There is widespread distress because national morale has declined. Most societies derive consensus from a long history. and by what images and ideals they were to live their lives and organise their societies. narcissistic personality has become characteristic of Americans. In one of these films the hero stands on the lowest rung of society and existence. But this leads to disunity. Americans believe in the value of diversity. because it prevents us from achieving a consensus that would counteract a tendency to withdraw into private worlds. Hence. our culture is one of great individual differences. Practically vacant. Myths are shared fantasies that form the tie that binds the individual to other members of his group. These three films. to make believable claims about it. in doing so. Christopher Lasch says that modern man. a language all their own.
so that we can be proud not only of our heritage but also of the world we are building together. Like all such heroes. like the society. Superman. just as important. But the nostalgic infatuation with the western suggests how much we are in need of a myth about the past that cannot be invalidated by the realities of today. these shows talk down to him. needs such myths to provide him with ideas of what difficulties are involved in maturation. to make himself free from the bonds that tie him to his parents. he grew wiser and learned to accept the limitations that civilisation imposes. Unfortunately. and they would still do so. We want to share a vision. This was a wonderful vision of man – or the United States – in the New World. which in turn became a symbol for all that is untamed within ourselves.part of the reality of opening the West – to be able to savour this myth fully. which formed the link between wilderness and civilisation. and lower his aspirations. The Incredible Hulk affords a confrontation with destructive anger. Thus the western gave us a vision of the need for co-operation and civilisation. we have no such myth. We have become too aware of the destruction of nature and of the American Indian -. But although most of us continue to enjoy this myth. Fairy tales used to fill this need. such Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . because without it man would perish. nor.9 people came to this new world. any that reflects what is involved in growing up. our equivalent of the Trojan War. but. by now it has lost most of its vitality. the wagon train symbolised the community men must form on such a perilous journey into the untamed wilderness. The railroad was the symbol of man’s role as civiliser. and this offers some relief from being overwhelmed by the powerful adults who control his existence. one that would enlighten us about what it means to be an American today. others at least provide him with some of the fantasies that relieve pressing anxieties. and the Bionic Woman stimulate the child's fantasies about being strong and invulnerable. the sheriff experienced victories and defeats. The movies used to transmit this myth. As food for fantasies that offer temporary relief. particularly the westerns. and. The child. While most of the popular shows for children fall short of what the child needs most. Another symbol often used in these westerns was the railroad. Wonder Woman. because the Hulk attacks only bad people. self-reliance. through these experiences. and this is the reason for their popularity. intuitive intelligence. Watching the Hulk on one of his rampages permits a vicarious experience of anger without having to feel guilty about it or anxious about the consequences. which presented the challenge of bringing civilisation to places where before there was none. Instead of helping the child. if we would take them seriously. They were people of special energy. In the latter role. and it served as a consensus about what it meant to be an American. it is based on an open frontier that no longer exists. the gunfighter was the hero of the past. This nation’s special mission in the world would be to serve as the moral guide for all other nations. and his opening of the West was our mythos. it was a myth by which one could live and grow. by extension. But sugar-sweet movies of the Disney variety fail to take seriously the world of the child – the immense problems with which the child has to struggle as he grows up. and to test his own strength. insult his intelligence. who wants to understand the difficulties ahead. Robert Warshow delineates in The Immediate Experience how the hero of the western – the gunfighter – symbolises man’s potential: to become either an outlaw or a sheriff. The same movies also suggested the danger of that chaos. and purity of heart….
but it has no place for man. for the United States. it ought to provide us with the visions enabling us to live the good life. this most authentic American art. It might be a universe peopled by angels. But only the ruling art of a period is apt to provide such unity: for the Greeks. so our modern myths about the future cannot go beyond the search for life's deeper meaning. Let us hope that the art of the moving image. man’s basic concerns will be the same.will not have lost its importance. Whether the film is 2001 or Star Wars. Speaking to our vision. because no other art experience is so o n and accessible to eve one. “Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen”. Art can do this because a basic ingredient of the aesthetic experience is that it binds together diverse elements. it was classical art. as myths do. will soon meet the challenge of becoming truly the real art of our age. Thus. Later. the central art of our time. because that is all we can know for certain. for the British. and the struggle of good against evil – the central moral problem of our time -. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . to which we turn for solace. battles are fought around issues that also motivated man in the past. it has to be the moving picture. The moving picture is a visual art. it was their classical art. such movies tell about progress that will expand man's powers and his experiences beyond anything now believed possible. A world in which this conflict has been permanently resolved eliminates man as we know him. What Americans need most is a consensus that includes the idea of individual freedom. or the helpful animal. of the fairy tale. and despite the progress that will have occurred in the material world. in Star Wars. for the many petty German states. and the Yedi Knight is the wise old man. The reason is that only as long as the choice between good and evil remains man’s paramount moral problem does life retain that special dignity that derives from our ability to choose between the two. They also promise that even in the most distant future. as well as acceptance of the plurality of ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs inherent in the population. Such consensus must rest on convictions about moral values and the validity of overarching ideas. As our religious myths about the future never went beyond Judgement Day. while they assure us that all these advances will not obliterate man or life as we now know it. the promise from our distant past that we shall be able to rise to meet the most difficult tasks life can present us with.10 shows have a certain value. Elizabethan art. it ought to give us insight into ourselves. So these visions about the future also contain our past. There is good reason that Yoda appears in George Lucas’s film: he is but a reincarnation of the teddy bear of infancy. Past and future are the lasting dimensions of our lives: the present is but a fleeting moment. any vision about the future is really based on visions of the past. Today. Robert Frost defined poetry as “beginning in delight and ending in wisdom”. Thus it might be said that the state of the art of the moving image can be assessed by the degree to which it meets the mythopoetic task of giving us myths suitable to live by in our time – visions that transmit to us the highest and best feelings to which men have risen – and by how well the moving images give us that delight which leads to wisdom. Thus one great anxiety about the future – that it will have no place for us as we now are – is allayed by such myths. but they do not provide material leading to higher integration. based on sight. Tolstoy wrote. About a hundred years ago. Science-fiction movies can serve as myths about the future and thus give us some assurance about it.
How do you react to the following observations made by the author? Discuss them with your classmates. what does American society lack the most? What can movies do to help overcome this deficiency? 6. What is the relationship of Bettelheim’s mention of the films. provided they all represent. What are the weaknesses of Disney movies in the author’s opinion? 10. of the greatness of discovering oneself and the other. Does the author give reasons for his statement in paragraph 12 that Americans “have lost an earlier sense of national vision and purpose”? 8. (c) "If art does not speak to all of us. common man and elites alike. what was the role of the American western film in promulgating the “myth” that bound Americans together? 9. the movie picture is the central art of our time? How does he feel that the moving picture can give Americans “myths suitable to live by”? 2. of dignity in defeat. According to Bettelheim.11 Questions for Discussion: 1. Apply this criterion to some movie you have seen recently. The Last Laugh. Bettelheim says that in giving us myths to live by movies give us “visions that transmit to us the highest and best feelings to which men have risen”. important cosmos”. the overarching vision and experience of a larger." Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . (b) “This diversity of art objects achieves a unity. How does the author view art? Why does he consider the moving picture “the most authentically American of arts”? 4." (d) "Life is best celebrated in the form of a battle against its inequities. What does Bettelheim mean by the word myth? What caused the decline of the myth in the American West? 5. What function can science fiction movies play with regard to the American myth? Exploring Ideas 1. its fails to address itself to that true humanity that is common to all of us. (a) “Only as long as the choice between good and evil remain man’s paramount moral problem does life retain that special dignity that derives from our ability to choose between the two”. What criterion of your own have you established for judging movies? To what extent do you agree or disagree with Bettelheim's criterion? 3. in the United States. each in its own way. and differences in quality are important. Why does Bettelheim believe that. How is your idea of art similar or different from that of the author? 2. How does Bettelheim support his thesis that the moving picture is the “only true art of our time”? 3. of struggles. According to the author. and Patton to the thesis of his essay? 7. Kagemusha.
which are published thrice weekly. Buckley. gladly. devoted (teetotaling) wife had a mastectomy. did he require a fourth. Buckley.only to find he had already eaten it. was born in New York City in 1925. restoring sight. After she died. Used by permission of the Wallace Literary Agency. to beef up his morale. while there he wrote his first book. but not apparently dominated by: He would not. made the exception. through his own efforts and those of his friends. Emerging from college into the professional world. he increased the dosage just a little. something of a sport. Before reaching the door he would rinse out his mouth. But always – this fascinated him. he watched himself casually making minor alterations: “Make that quarts” was the modest beginning. When. on turning the door handle. Up from Misery 2 A friend of long standing who has never asked me to devote this space to advertising any enthusiasm of his has now. the doctor called to tell him the worst. Fascinated.S. He does not want to do anything less than what he can do. a week’s supply to eke out the several martinis he had been drinking at and after lunch. after the third. he walked straightaway to the nearest bar. an ace in his individualistic profession. but neither. For thirty years he has edited the National Review. Then the resupplying would come on Friday. but at no other time during his college career. then lie down for a little nap. as gradually he comprehended the totality of I his servitude – he would. Jr. At night he would prepare himself dinner. So. he began buying a fifth each of bourbon and gin on Saturdays. wake hours later. go to the kitchen to eat dinner . hitting in his late 30's his cruising speed: two or three martinis per day. He graduated from Yale University in 1950. as indisputably as an eye surgeon. 2 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . In due course it was a quart a day. there is help waiting which can lead them out of the darkness. later that year. Buckley also is well-known for his interview program on television. then up to five snorts before leaving for the office – later and later in the morning. within walking distance of the great majority of Americans. to pass along the word that. In the morning he would begin. the U. the prognosis optimistic. he revved up slowly. but with a shade of uncertainty. For many years Buckley has gained fame as an articulate spokesman for the political right in the United States. then Thursday. one.12 WILLIAM F. go back: for just one more. Then in the spring of 1972 his gentle. can lead someone into the sunlight. who remembers getting drunk at college in the late 20’s on the night he won an important boxing match. JR. Jr. These he was dearly attached to. Once he returned to a restaurant three hours after having eaten his dinner: he forgot he had Copyright © 1977 by William F. The following essay is one of his syndicated newspaper columns. tough-talking. Kenneth (we'll call him) is a cocky fellow. God and Man at Yale (1951). BUCKLEY. William F. diffidently. leading conservative magazine. go a day without his martinis. Inc.
as of so many other spirits united to help their fellow man. and he hungered. and prays that others who suffer will find the hand of Alcoholics Anonymous. he called the experiences. What happened to turn Kenneth around. What is the importance of the spring of 1972 in Kenneth's life? How did his wife’s death compound his drinking problem? 3. and Who. AA advises at least ninety meetings in the first ninety days. On returning. as suddenly as on the day he poured the booze into the sink. And he made instant progress during those first weeks. he stayed five.13 been there. and he lusted. and every moment. full of 6 gin. he could not sleep until early morning for pleasure at re-experiencing life. On the crucial day it was nothing special. so to speak? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and every day he rejoiced at his liberation. Intending to stay one dutiful hour. suddenly. Always objective. then emptied the bourbon bottle. were endless bouts with the haunting question: What is the point in living at all? And then. every long afternoon and evening without her. But for the late afternoon martinis he thirsted. Blackouts. Questions for Discussion 1. On reaching his apartment he lurched gratefully for the bottle. He walked home from the office. he was exhilarated. His banked-up grief for his wife raged now. other than in the prescribed ritualisms of his profession. Who was there in that little kitchen on the day the impulse came to him. Tomorrow would be the first of 250 meetings in ninety days with Alcoholics Anonymous. education. he had been inveigled into going to a party. He was so excited. and without alcohol. emptied the gin bottle. sipped from the glass. He heard his own voice say. articulateness – “I would rank around six or seven”. then went to the telephone and. struggling to do this with aplomb in the posh backdrop of the East 60’s. or in the boozy idiom of the tippler. Kenneth would like to inquire – but perhaps AA was too busy tonight. surely. so elated. Twenty-seven weeks later.. and vomited in the street (this often happened). success. never in his life having given a second's conscious thought to the organisation. What kind of picture do you get of Kenneth as a person? 2. He dove into a despair mitigated only by his thrice-daily contacts with AA. quickly losing the compulsion for the morning drinks. He had developed anew the capacity to talk with people. Kenneth had assumed he would be mixing with hoi polloi. and was clapped by the hand of Providence as unmistakably as any piece of breast was ever struck by a lance. perhaps next week sometime? What? Come today? How about tomorrow? Do you have a meeting every week? You have 800 meetings in New York a week?… Scores every night?… Okay. Tomorrow. fumbled through the directory and dialed the number for Alcoholics Anonymous. He made friends. so pleased. as if directed by an outside force: “What the hell am I doing to myself?” He poured his martini into the sink. he advises now that “on a scale of 1 – 10" – incorporating intelligence. is the wellspring of the faith of Alcoholics Anonymous. And – one might presumptuously add – the hand of the Prime Mover.. One must suppose that whoever answered that telephone call was as surprised as a 8 fireman excitedly advised that a house was ablaze. That was two months ago.
If you know something about Alcoholics Anonymous.14 4. What does the author mean by the Prime Mover in the last paragraph? How does the last sentence relate to the rest of the essay? Exploring Ideas 1. give some of your own ideas concerning the reasons for the success of the organisation. What were the results of 27 weeks in AA? 6. Besides alcoholism. In the beginning what effect did Alcoholics Anonymous have on Kenneth’s drinking habits? What is the significance of ninety days? 5. How would you define alcoholism? Why do you think it is a major problem in many societies? 2. what other kinds of addiction contribute to problems within families and societies? 3. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays .
timing its fall with a stopwatch. "Oh. measuring the length of the rope. since he had answered the question completely and correctly. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question. and asked him to please go on. Drop the barometer. I excused myself for interrupting him. In leaving my colleague's office. I went to my colleague's office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer”. I asked if he wished to give up. determine the height of the building. attach a long rope to it. Louis. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics. At the end of five minutes. it could well contribute to a high grade for the student in his physics course. he dashed off his answer. I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. so I asked him what they were. with the warning that his answer should show some knowledge of physics. I asked my colleague if he would give up. lower the barometer to the street. if full credit were given. and then bring it up. 3 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student.15 ALEXANDER CALANDRA Alexander Calandra is a professor of physics at Washington University in St. The length of the rope is the height of the building”. but he said no. and I gave the student almost full credit. I recalled that the student had said he had other eight answers to the problem. I gave the student six minutes to answer the question. but the answer did not confirm this. For example. December 26. In the following essay he shares an experience with a college student who refused to give the expected answer to a question on a physics examination. but I was surprised that the student did. you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer. yes. He conceded. "There are many ways of getting the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer. Angels on a Pin 3 Some time ago. the student insisted on giving a number of answers other than the conventional one. Then. he had not written anything. and the length of the shadow of the building. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question. The student had answered: “Take the barometer to the top of the building. He had many answers to this problem. The instructor and the student agreed to submit this to an impartial arbiter. and by the use of a simple proportion. I was not surprised that my colleague agreed. he was just thinking of the best one." At this point. using the formula S = 'le at'. Missouri." Copyright © Alexander Calandra. On the other hand. which read: "Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. In the next minute. First published in SATURDAY REVIEW. calculate the height of the building." said the student. I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit. the length of its shadow. Instead. and I was selected. 1968.
"Of course. He admitted that he did." Finally he concluded. A very direct method.16 "Fine. The student says that the answer he gives in paragraph 12 is probably the best one. hence the source of the title of Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . "And the others?" -Yes. “Probably the best”. Questions for Discussion 1. there are many other ways of solving the problem. why? Exploring Ideas 1. If you will tell me the height of this building. you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. Superintendent. and determine the value of 'g' at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference between the two values of 'g. “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent's door. With this in mind. I asked the student if he really did not know the conventional answer to this question. As you climb the stairs. you speak to him as follows: 'Mr. he said. in principle. if you want a more sophisticated method. he decided to revive scholasticism as an academic lark to challenge the Sputnik panicked classrooms of America. here I have a fine barometer. One such question was how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. -There is a very basic measurement method that you will like. I will give you this barometer”. When the superintendent answers. you can tie the barometer to the end of a string. but said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think. as is often done in the new mathematics. How would you characterise all of the student's answers? What qualities did they possess? 7.' the height of the building can.. to use the "scientific method.said the student. swing it as a pendulum. Do you agree with the professor’s judgment? 6. be calculated. At this point. During the Middle Ages. What was the examination question supposed to test? Was it a "bad" question in that it failed to get the expected response? Can you restate the question so that it will elicit the expected answer? 3." I said. You then count the number of marks. What point does the essay illustrate? 2. Why do you think Professor Calandra did not give the student full credit for his answer in paragraph 6? 5. In this method. and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units. Is it important for the reader to know it? Do you think author Calandra leaves it out on purpose? If so. The conventional answer to the physics question is never given. you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. scholastic philosophers would debate questions dealing with theological minutiae that seem pointless to the modern reader. Why does he say this? What motivated him to avoid the conventional answer? Do you agree with his position? 4. rather than teaching him the structure of the subject." and to explore the deep inner logic of the subject in a pedantic way.
Do you admire him for taking that approach to problem solving? 4. Keeping in mind the scholasticism of the Middle Ages. With this in mind. The student mentioned in the essay is obviously not a conventional thinker in many respects. Have you ever exercised this type of approach to a problem? What role should imaginative thinkers play in a society? 5. What is the basic purpose of tests and examinations? How can one tell the difference between a good and a bad examination? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . to what extent does the title contribute to the overall effect of the essay? 2.17 the essay. what did the student have in mind when he decided to revive it as an “academic lark” as mentioned in the last sentence of the essay? 3.
and returned to our little home greatly distressed because there was no more work for him to do. What I could get to do. become. not what I desired. the merchants supplying the materials. This was before the days of steam-factories for the manufacture of linen. Scotland. self-made American millionaires of the late 19th century. The first serious lesson of my life came to me one day when he had taken in the last of his work to the merchant. if I could do it. like them. published in 1900. but the lesson burned into my heart. and was thus shown even in early boyhood that my duty was to assist my parents and. But there seems to be a question preceding this: Why did I become a business man? I am sure that I should never have selected a business career if I had been permitted to choose. I had. and my father was one of the sufferers by the change. How I Served My Apprenticeship It is a great pleasure to tell how I served my apprenticeship as a businessman. hand-loom weaving naturally declined. as soon as possible. It was finally resolved to Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . The huge Carnegie fortune. His public philanthropy reflected his idealism and a sense of noblesse oblige and responsibility toward the welfare of society. as well as the philanthropic Carnegie Foundation. and I resolved then that the wolf of poverty should be driven from our door some day. and I heard it discussed from day to day. to begin to perform some useful work in the world while still very young in order to earn an honest livelihood. provided the funds for the establishment of public libraries in various parts of the United States. was the question. fortunately. He owned no less than four damask-looms and employed apprentices.18 ANDREW CARNEGIE Carnegie was one of several. The following essay is the first chapter of his book. I was then just about ten years of age. The eldest son of parents who were themselves poor. When I was born my father was a well-to-do master weaver in Dunfermline. Carnegie's philosophy of business ethics was well-known and admired by many. The Gospel of Wealth. to weave the cloth. a bread-winner in the family. in which he expounded the idea that the accumulation of riches was stewardship of wealth that ultimately should benefit society. A few large merchants took orders. made in the steel industry. As the factory system developed. and employed master weavers. famous. The question of selling the old looms and starting for the United States came up in the family council. such as my father.
and not be released until after darkness came again in the evening. for every member of the family was working hard. Besides this. but the refuse wooden chips. because I was set to fire a boiler in the cellar. and served as a "bobbin-boy.I should some day get into a better position. mother. Many millions of dollars have since passed through my hands. if there be any germ of true manhood in him. One dollar and twenty cents made by myself and given to me because I had been of some use in the world! No longer entirely dependent upon my parents. should not last -. but that "it would be better for the two boys. and I always liked to work in wood. made bobbins. but at last admitted to the family partnership as a contributing member and able to help them! I think this makes a man out of a boy sooner than almost anything else. No. but quite a little man. trying the steam-gauges. was a terrible task. slavery might not be much too strong a term to describe it." In after life. and myself). and actually to run the small steam-engine which drove the machinery. no! everything must be bright to them. It is everything to feel that you are useful. But the responsibility of keeping the water right and of running the engine. Besides this. who was then a child. of course. I felt myself no longer a mere boy. This was a point of honour. who knew some of our relatives. I well remember that neither father nor mother thought the change would be otherwise than a great sacrifice for them. if you can look back as I do and wonder at the complete surrender of their own desires which parents make for the good of their children." and this is how I began my preparation for subsequent apprenticeship as a business man. you must reverence their memories with feelings akin to worship.19 take the plunge and join relatives already in Pittsburg. But here for a time it was even worse than in the cotton factory. except the blessed Sunday morning. I received one dollar and twenty cents a week. On arriving in Allegheny City (there were four of us: father. forty minutes' interval only being allowed at noon. too. and took me into his factory before I was thirteen. and a real man. caused too great a strain. could not. For a lad of twelve to rise and breakfast every morning. except. But I was young and had my dreams. and this made me. and the danger of my making a mistake and blowing the whole factory to pieces. my little brother. But the genuine satisfaction I had from that one dollar and twenty cents outweighs any subsequent pleasure in money-getting. I have had to deal with great sums. and something within always told me that this would not. and I often awoke and found myself sitting up in bed through the night. my younger brother. for a kind old Scotsman. I cannot tell you how proud I was when I received my first week's own earnings. A change soon came. and go into the streets and find his way to the factory and begin to work while it was still dark outside. but for the aim and end which sanctified it. my father entered a cotton factory. But I never told them at home that I was having a hard tussle. I soon followed. for fortunately we did not use coal. The firing of the boiler was all right. It was the direct reward of honest. it represented a week of very hard work – so hard that. and was then just about twelve years old. manual labour. and we were telling each other only all the bright things. no man would whine and give up – he Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays .
You know how people moan about poverty as being a great evil. more precious fortune in life than any rich man's son who is not so favoured can possibly know.soon relieved me of the undue strain. and more obtained from life in the humble cottages of the poor than in the palaces of the rich. a truer life. eminent. and it seems to be accepted that if people had only plenty of money and were rich. and have governesses at a later age. they would be happy and more useful. a matter of universal desire that poverty should be abolished. who are attended bv servants. I always pity the sons and daughters of rich men. all in one. for the clerking took but little time. John Hay -. As a rule. and compared with which all other fortunes count for little. industrious. If you will read the list of the immortals who "were not born to die. There was no servant in our family. self-denying poverty would be to destroy the soil upon which mankind produces the virtues which enable our race to reach a still higher civilisation than it now possesses. What did Carnegie feel to be his duty toward his parents? 2. How did Carnegie's work of firing the boiler in a factory affect him? 6. and finding that I could write a plain school-boy hand and could "cipher. tutor. What kind of family life did Carnegie have while growing up in Scotland? Why did his family emigrate to the United States? 3. there is more genuine satisfaction. has a richer. how loving and how united its members may be in the common interest of supporting the family." you will find that most of them have been born to the precious heritage of poverty. for he needed some one to make out bills and keep his accounts. too. guardian angel. nowadays. But still I had to work hard upstairs in the factory. It seems. Questions for Discussion 1. And could I complain? My kind employer. They have kind fathers and mothers. for the poor boy who has in his father his constant companion. from social envies and emulations. teacher. and think that they enjoy the sweetness of these blessings to the fullest: but this they cannot do. What effect did his first week's salary have on Carnegie? 4. and get more out of life. self-reliant men have always sprung and always must spring. What dreams did Carnegie have as a young boy of twelve? 5.20 would die first. and several dollars per week were earned by the mother by binding shoes after her daily work was done! Father was also hard at work in the factory. We should be quite willing to abolish luxury." he made me his only clerk. and model. saint. how free from perplexing care. that I sympathise with the rich man's boy and congratulate the poor man's boy. What does Carnegie have to say about poverty's being an evil? Are there benefits from poverty? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . but to abolish honest. and in his mother – holy name! – his nurse. It is because I know how sweet and happy and pure the home of honest poverty is. but am glad to remember that they do not know what they have missed.peace to his ashes! -. and it is for these reasons that from the ranks of the poor so many strong.
How did Carnegie regard his parents? Exploring Ideas 1. Do you agree with Carnegie's "philosophy" concerning work and poverty? Explain. Epstein mentions Carnegie's special generosity toward Lord Acton.21 7. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Compare Carnegie's "ambitions" to some of the ideas expressed by Joseph Epstein in his essay on ambition. 2. Do some of Carnegie's comments help explain this act of philanthropy? 3.
wishes to rise above it. socially detached. Still. ambition does not always allow for easy satiation. One can. ambition. begun in selfishness. Even that most neutral of works. As drunks have done to alcohol. of goodness. begun in selflessness. of pleasure. of course. be ambitious for the public good. he is on his own and out for his own. it has brought grief to others. The truly ambitious believe that it is a dog-eat-dog world. be predicted. for the enlightenment of mankind. Some people cannot handle it. He is also the editor of The American Scholar. end in large-heartedness. and power have come under fairly heavy attack for at least a century. too. or power. Like a taste for alcohol. of wealth. it. Some dreams. after all. and indeed is now out-moded. What is the worst that can be said – that has been said – about ambition? Here is a (surely) partial list: To begin with. belonging to an age when individualism was more valued and useful than it is today." Ardent immediately assumes a heat incommensurate with good sense and stability. ambition. The ambitious individual. Individuality and ambition are firmly linked. none of this seems sufficient cause for driving ambition under the counter. Ambition is. published in 1980. Webster's. is often antisocial. The unpredictability of the outcome of dreams is no reason to cease dreaming. other dreams. The essay below is taken from Ambition: The Secret Passion. the sheer thing unalloyed by some larger purpose than merely clambering up. rivalrousness is his or her principal emotion: the world has limited prizes to offer. it can argue those possessed by it into believing that what they want for themselves is good for everyone – that the satisfaction of their own desires is best for the commonweal. is never a pretty prospect to ponder. To be sure. defining ambition first and foremost as "an ardent desire for rank. and rank. the single-minded have done to ambition – given it a bad name. of distinction. fame. for the alleviation of suffering. The Virtues of Ambition Ambition is one of those Rorschach words: define it and you instantly reveal a great deal about yourself. of love. though there are some who say that these are precisely the ambitious people most to be distrusted.22 JOSEPH EPSTEIX Born in 1937. The ambitious man or woman sees the world as a battle. moreover. What life does with our dreams and expectations cannot. Joseph Epstein is a professor of English at North-western University in Evanston. fame. end in rancour. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and not merely the ambitious alone. and he or she is determined to get his or hers. gives itself away. jesuitical. far from identifying himself and his fortunes with the group. a quarterly journal of essays published by the Phi Beta Kappa society. in its Seventh New Collegiate Edition. Surely ambition is behind dreams of glory. The person strongly imbued with ambition ignores the collectivity. Illinois. and they are distinguished by wanting to be the dogs that do the eating. of accomplishment.
nowadays more than ever before. fame. European travel. without moral scruples. the majority of earnest people trying to get on in life. which now more than ever seem in ample supply: the revolutionary lawyer quartered in the $250. If the tradition of ambition is to have vitality. on the right obtuse supporters. the proper formulation is.23 From here it is but a short hop to believe that those who have achieved the common goals of ambition – money. the support for ambition as a healthy impulse. it is they who have usurped the platforms of public discussion and wield the power of the spoken and written word in newspapers. It can also be forced into vulgarity. Summer homes. or made sly. or perverse. in magazines. acquisitive. as witness the blatant pratings of its contemporary promoters. of course. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . thought to be ambitious. the educated not least among them. mostly a greater. it must be widely shared. vulgar. power – have achieved them through corruption of a greater or lesser degree. but such items do not seem less in demand today than a decade or two years ago. Ambition. lest they be thought pushing. a quality to be admired and inculcated in the young. but only that. Such. as if ambition were to blame for his ignoble actions. are understood to be.000 Manhattan condominium. its public defenders are few and unimpressive. What has happened is that people cannot own up to their dreams. Consequences follow from this. Thus all politicians in high places. and in the middle. The attacks on ambition are many and come from various angles. as usual. a case of closing the barn door after the horses have escaped – with the educated themselves astride them. is the way things stand: on the left angry critics. and not the constellation of qualities that make up his rather shabby character. no longer openly honoured. In an odd way. Instead we are treated to fine pharisaical spectacles. whose own children are enrolled in private schools. place names and name brands may change. on television. “Succeed at all costs but refrain from appearing ambitious”. As a result. is morally a two-sided street. as easily and openly as once they could. it must once again be underscored. What is odd is that they have perhaps most benefited from ambition – if not always their own then that of their parents and grandparents. the critic of American materialism with a Southampton summer home. that people no longer feel its stirrings and promptings. and it especially must be esteemed by people who are themselves admired. The educated not least because. feeling that it represents something intractable in human nature. is probably lower than it has ever been in the United States. control over one's destiny – must be deemed worthy of the sacrifices made on ambition’s behalf. distinction. There is a heavy note of hypocrisy in this. it is less often openly professed. the publisher of radical books who takes his meals in three-star restaurants. then. Place next to John Dean Andrew Carnegie. How could they have such scruples – a weighty burden in a high climb – and still have risen as they have? If ambition is to be well regarded. some of which are that ambition is driven underground. Certainly people do not seem less interested in success and its accoutrements now than formerly. Many people are naturally distrustful of ambition. where they are not extremely unattractive. the rewards of ambition – wealth. it is the educated who have claimed to have given up on ambition as an ideal. Thus John Dean entitled his book about his involvement in the in the Watergate affair during the Nixon administration Blind Ambition. This does not mean that ambition is at an end. For such people and many more perhaps not so egregious. ipso facto. BMWs – the locations. the journalist advocating participatory democracy in all phases of life.
and regard for posterity. the middle class. Anxiety would be extinct. Ambition. Such work as they did would not be for themselves but for the collectivity. among other philanthropic acts. suffer. It would probably be a kinder world: without demands. that achievement counts for a great deal. Working. is to go at things wrongly. The attack against ambition is not incidentally an attack on the middle class and what it stands for. and assigned its custodianship to Acton. saving. is worth esteeming. and inflation a good economic argument against having children – is nearly an expression of ambition in itself. the daily aspects of ambition – have always been the distinguishing marks of a rising middle class. Ah.24 who. Remove ambition and the essential elements of society seem to fly apart. Longevity would be increased. whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things. has from the beginning run on ambition. in more recent times. bought the library of Lord Acton. It is not difficult to imagine a world shorn of ambition. live. interest in attainment. People would have time for reflection. at a time when Acton was in financial distress. but harbour some of their most ardent ambitions for their children. without abrasions. personal and social. Like it or not. who never was told who his benefactor was. But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists. and it. the middle class has done much of society's work in America. increasingly become the domain of the middle classes. Time would stretch on and on. It may seem an exaggeration to say that ambition is the linchpin of society. in its implications. for fewer people would die of heart attack or stroke caused by tumultuous endeavour. and ambition therefore a sham. Conflict would be eliminated. and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless. with ambition long departed from the human heart. but it is not an exaggeration by much. without disappointments. Ambition is intimately connected with family. though ambition was once the domain chiefly of monarchs and aristocrats. The family would become superfluous as a social unit. of a kind society cannot survive without. nor all ambition worth cultivating. Need much more be said on the subject than that. planning – these. Art would no longer be troubling. To believe otherwise is to take on a point of view that is likely to be deranging. Competition would never enter in. for men and women not only work partly for their families. Ambition and futurity –a sense of building for tomorrow – are inextricable. Finally. holding many of its disparate elements together. To discourage ambition is to discourage dreams of grandeur and greatness. The stress of creation would be at an end. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . husbands and wives are often ambitious for each other. it has. obviously. Does this mean that success does not really exist? That achievement is at bottom empty? That the efforts of men and women are of no significance alongside the force of movements and events? Now not all success. All men and women are born. and what we do to make them come about. implies work and discipline to achieve goals. sacrificing ambition so as to guard against its potential excesses. with all its former power for bringing about neurosis drained away. what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams. tension become a thing of the past. but purely celebratory in its functions. and die. there are some things that one must not sacrifice to it? But going at things the other way. important though ambition is. as opposed to mere fantasising about desires. to remove all motive for competence. Yet to have a family nowadays – with birth control readily available. It is. Which are and which are not is something one soon enough learns on one's own. how unrelievedly boring life would be! There is a strong view that holds that success is a myth.
(b) “Individuality and ambition are firmly linked”.25 We do not choose to be born. as opposed to mere fantasising about desires. (c) “To discourage ambition is to discourage dreams of grandeur and greatness”. so are our lives formed. (d) “Ambition. choose to die. 2. Do you agree with the author that ambition holds society together? 4. Does the author believe that the quality of life would be improved without ambition? Explain. forming our own destiny is what ambition is about. What would characterise a world without ambition according to Epstein? 7. We do not choose our historical epoch. honorably or dishonorably. What can cause ambition to be well-regarded? 3. Discuss or debate the following statements found in the essay. of accomplishment. nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. Do you think that people are hypocritical about ambition? If so. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. personal and social. of distinction. How does he support that belief? 6. According to the author. We do not. In the end. these choices and decisions are ours to make. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions. of wealth. of goodness”. We decide. most of us. with purpose or in drift. implies work and discipline to achieve goals. The author states that “ambition … is morally a two-sided street”. of pleasure. (a) “Surely ambition is behind dreams of glory. in what ways? 3. the country of our birth or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. what are some of the negative aspects of ambition? 2. The concluding statement of the essay observes that "forming our own destiny is what ambition is about. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . What does he mean? 5. What has caused ambition to the less admired in the United States in recent years? 4. we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice. We do not choose our parents. Questions for Discussion 1. We choose. But within all this realm of choicelessness. of love. How does ambition manifest itself in your society? How does it compare with some of Epstein's observations vis-a-vis American society? 5. of a kind society can not survive without”. To a great extent the author believes that “ambition is the linchpin of society”. Exploring Ideas 1. And as we decide and choose. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life." Do you agree or disagree? Give your reasons.
written originally for McCall’s magazine. That was twenty-seven years ago. we have enjoyed Mark for his delightful self. his older brother. Prof. a special workshop for retarded adults. but it is a happy and bright one. To get him into a public institution. My wife and I had had no previous acquaintance with the problems of retardation -. by pulling all the books he could reach off the shelves. Daisy Rosebourgh. food. Author of several books. although I must say that some of his stages. In that time. As a professor of English. Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action (1941) has been widely used in writing and philosophy courses. birthday candles. they said. He has never seemed like a burden. They sympathetically but firmly advised us to find a private institution that would take him. would have a disastrous effect on our family. “Our Son Mark” is one of those articles. sports-car rides. and we have been rewarded by finding much good in things the way they are. Canada. such as his love of making chaos. in 1906. a focus on the present moment. Mark was born with Down's syndrome. Mark has never been “put away”.26 SAMUEL ICHIYE. his younger sister. but the progress would be painfully slow and he would never reach an adolescent’s mental age. Only such words as imbecile. his mental limitation has given him a capacity for contentment. He has lived at home. The only institution he sees regularly is the workshop he attends. His enjoyment of simple experiences – swimming. lasted much longer than normal children’s. And the prevailing opinion was that such a child must be “put away”. they said. idiot. Medical authorities advised us that he would show some mental development. It was easy to be patient with him. he has been most influential as a scholar and teacher of general semantics. but we did not go on dwelling on what might have been. or our long time housekeeper and friend. would require a waiting period of five years. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Mark seems more capable of accepting things as they are than his immediate relatives. friendly. quiet. and moron came to mind. From the beginning. his father. and cuddly cats – has that directness and intensity so many philosophers recommend to all of us. The prognosis for his ever reaching anything approaching normality was hopeless. He was an “easy” baby. HAYAKAWA Born in Vancouver. to live out his life in an institution. they warned. which is often enviable. popularly known as mongolism. as we called it. Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa has been president of San Francisco State College and a United States Senator. He has also written many articles on a wide range of social and personal issues. Our Son Mark It was a terrible blow for us to discover that we had brought a retarded child into the world. and passive. His world may be circumscribed.not even with the words to discuss it. His retardation has brought us grief. Mark has contributed to our stability and serenity. We could do nothing about it. He is as much a part of the family as his mother. I. To keep him at home for this length of time. but he needed a baby's care for a long time.
But our general semantics. No two retarded children are exactly alike in all respects. It is hard to believe now that it was “definitely known” twenty years ago that institutionalisation was the “only way”. or our parental feelings. for they had had much experience and we were new at this shattering experience. The point is that one observes and reacts to the specific case and circumstances rather than to the generalisation. It was Marge who bore the brunt of the first diagnosis and accompanying advice.27 Mark’s contentment has been a happy contribution to our family. of doing things we can all enjoy. she was told: “Your husband is a professional man. and they kept putting off the job of telling us. The family would not be able to stand the stress. Whatever they were told by their physicians about their children. just as there are different kinds of brain damage. we simply thought that Mark was at the other end of the average range. And seeing Mark's communicative processes develop in slow motion has taught me much about the process in all children. “Everybody” believed these things and repeated them. Mark was eight months old before we were told he was retarded. in sitting up. Stunned and crushed. We did not. We were told that a retarded child could not be kept at home because “it would not be fair to the other children”. Or perhaps this news is as hard for a pediatrician to tell as it is for parents to hear. in responding to others around him. given at the university hospital at a time when I had to be out of town. and the challenge of communicating with him. Retarded child No. had a right to have “mongolian” features. parents began to ask: “Is that so? Let’s see”. Down's syndrome is one condition. made us aware that their reaction to Mark was to a generalisation. with his part Japanese parentage. while to us he was an individual. None of them gave us the slightest indication that all was not well. Mark’s doctor did suggest a neurologist. she protested. lightly disregard the well-meant advice of university neurologists and their social-worker teams. indicating what his fears were. 2. while brain damage is something else. has drawn the family together. In the course of his baby checkups. we had seen three different pediatricians. at home and while travelling. You cannot keep a child like this at home”. Of course we had known that he was slower than the average child in smiling. There are different degrees of retardation. Having had one child who was extraordinarily ahead of such schedules. This sort of attitude has helped public understanding of the nature and problems of 8 retardation to become much deeper and more widespread. Institutional care does turn out to be the best answer for some kinds of retarded children or some family situations. They might have a valid generalisation about statistical stresses on statistical families. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . or 4. Finally. Fortunately Mark was born at a time when a whole generation of parents of retarded children had begun to question the accepted dogmas about retardation. but they knew virtually nothing about our particular family and its evaluative processes. of course. “But he lives on love”. Perhaps they were made uncertain by the fact that Mark. and made an appointment. or 3. to comfort and guide the parents of the retarded. For what is meant by “retarded child”? There are different kinds of retardation. 1 is not retarded child No.
“What can I read to find out more about his condition and how to take care of him?”. With the help of a doctor friend. There were many theories. Our daughter. genetic counselling is available to guide parents as to the probabilities of recurrence on a scientific basis. There was one more frightening hurdle for our family to get over. nothing was known of the cause of mongolism. And it was the Dark Ages. Grief-stricken as she was. have participated. And many of the retarded are living useful and independent lives. work-training centres. Mark's older brother. They have shown remarkable ingenuity in instructing Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . in Mark’s development. they pointed out the need for pre-schools. the doctor told her that it was too risky for us to have any more children. they worked to get these services. We were flying blind. learning. and really helped bring him up. too?” the social worker asked. that there was a fifty percent chance of our having another mongoloid child. observant. at least. with patience and delight. No evidence could be found for the fifty percent odds. it was a matter of going along from day to day. It was parents who led the way: They organised into parents’ groups. schools. But for us at that time. But the question “Why does it happen?” had not yet been answered. a fault of cell division. We took the risk and won. my wife was still able to recognise a non sequitur. which are now being provided in increasing numbers. The fact that she had a retarded brother must have contributed at least something to the fact that she is at once delightfully playful and mature. Although there did seem to be some danger of recurrence. and sheltered workshops to serve the children who were being cared for at home. Wynne. “You cannot get help from a book”. Marge asked. answered the social worker. She has a fine relationship with her two brothers. which would never have been thought possible for them. and understanding. “You must put him away”. Now. Yet even now the cost in money – not to mention the cost in human terms – is much less if the child is kept at home than if he is sent to the institutions in which children are put away. diagnostic centres. On that traumatic day Marge got the diagnosis. Today. In those days. But the needs are a long way from being fully met. Today professional advice runs generally in the opposite direction: “Keep your retarded child at home if it is at all possible”. it is known to be caused by the presence of an extra chromosome. observing. and saying. She started as Mark's baby sister.28 “Do not your other children live on love. Today this sounds like dialogue from the Dark Ages. One does not lessen the love for one’s children by dividing it among several. Both Wynne and Alan. is now twenty-five. as for other parents who were unknowingly pioneering new ways for the retarded. we plunged into medical books and discovered that the doctor who gave us the advice was flying just as blind as we were. soon passed him in every way. “Let’s see”. we estimated that the probabilities were with us.
walk up to a woman he has never seen before. In our family. He was so great that I was going to send him back on the plane alone. In every situation between parent and child or between children. “I’m a service station. who went to college there. Hence he is extremely direct and totally without self-consciousness. “He didn’t cause any trouble except that he rang the bell for the stewardess a couple of times when he didn't need anything. he rubbed it briskly across Mark’s face. Alan called him to his place at the table and said. because she didn't trust others to be able to understand his speech or to know how to treat him without her there to give them clues. Mark responds to the evaluations of others. His almost incomprehensible speech. To imagine how one looks in the eyes of others takes a level of awareness that appears to be beyond him. Alan and Wynne interpret and explain Mark to their friends. “Ford”. he is good to live with. he is accepted just as he is. “He was great on the plane”. evaluations are involved – and these interact on each other. Anyone who is aware of these matters would recognise in him some of the characteristic symptomatic features. and expect their friends to think so too. Like other children. Their affection and understanding were shown when Wynne flew to Oregon with Mark to visit Alan and his wife. which few besides his family and teachers can understand. a valued individual. Because others have always treated him as an individual. Certainly. Alan: “Shall I fill her up?” Mark: “Yes”. and. They think he is “great”. He is small for his age (about five feet tall) and childlike. but they are not extreme. but never once have I heard them apologise for him or deprecate him. quickly entering into the make-believe. finally. she recalls. “Do you want your windshield cleaned?” Then. Mark. On one occasion. When Mark finished his glass of milk. He would have enjoyed that”. said. It is almost as if they judge the quality of other people by how they react to Mark. Alan (bringing the glass to Mark’s mouth): “Here you are”. Alan: “Ethyl or regular?” Mark: “Regular”. Alan asked him. is his most obvious sign of retardation.29 and amusing him. and kiss her in response to a genuinely friendly greeting. taking a napkin. Wynne described the whole reunion as “tremendous” and especially enjoyed Mark’s delight in the trip. having Mark at home has helped us be more aware and be more flexible in our evaluations. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Cynthea. But she didn’t. when Mark was not drinking his milk. he feels good about himself. consequently. Since few of us are accustomed to such directness of expression – especially the expression of affection – the people to whom this has happened are deeply moved. while Mark grinned with delight. This routine became a regular game for many weeks. Mark looks reasonably normal. I have seen him come into our living room. Mark fortunately does not notice any stares of curiosity he may attract. What kind of car are you?”.
Alan and his wife and Wynne have all offered to be guardians for Mark. Like most parents of the retarded. But he can pick out on request almost any record from his huge collection -. Once we were discussing the forthcoming marriage of some friends of ours. it is Mark – not Marge or I – who figures out how to turn it on and get a clear picture. And I think our children – bless their hearts – were reasonably able to do so. it has not all been easy – but when has easiness been the test of the value of anything? To us. too. a Car. or the Rolling Stones. of course. It is wonderful to know they feel this way. But how easy it is to expect too much of bright children and how quickly they feel your disappointment! Seeing Mark’s slow. share in recreation and companionship. He cannot read and will never be able to. as brighter people often do. His below IQ reflects the fact that he cannot cope with unfamiliar situations. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . slow progress certainly gave us real appreciation of the marvelous perception and quick learning processes of the other two. it was easy to feel surprise and delight at any of his accomplishments. so that we became more understanding with Alan and Wynne than we might otherwise have been. But we hope that Mark can find a happy place in one of the new residence homes for the retarded. Away from their families. why not for the children who were quick and able? We knew we could do serious damage to Mark by expecting too much of him and being disappointed. We were. His love of music enables him to figure out how to operate almost any record changer or hi-fi set. What does that future hold for Mark? He will never be able to be independent. because I cannot remember a single real fight or a really nasty incident between Alan and Wynne. and fortunately we expect to be able to achieve this. and a Wedding Ring”. a few minutes later. or a family. they are able to live more fully as adults.Fleetwood Mac.30 This kind of sensitivity must have carried over into relations between the two normal children. And in a strange hotel room. but he’s not stupid!” Of course. The residents share the work around the house. If we had time and patience for Mark. and Mark disappeared into his playroom to bring out. But parents need to be accepted as they are. or Christmas carols – because he knows so well what each record looks like. He never tries to force a piece of machinery because he cannot figure out how it works. I do not want to sound as if we were never impatient or obtuse as parents. and listen and enjoy them. As Alan once remarked: “Mark may be retarded. With Mark. And I think Marge and I found the same thing happening to us. with a house-mother or manager. with a TV set of unknown make. so that all we had to do was open our eyes and our ears. It is as if their readiness to try to understand Mark extended into a general method of dealing with people. we are concentrating on providing financial security for Mark in the future. go out to work if they can. he will always have to live in a protected environment. who may be overprotective and not aware of how much the retarded can do for themselves (are we not guilty of this. too!). the difficult problems that must be faced in the future only emphasise the value of Mark as a person. The residence home is something new and promising and it fills an enormous need. a record with the song “A House. It is somewhat like a club.
31 An indication that there is still much need for public education about the retarded here in California is that there has been difficulty in renting decent houses for this kind of home. Questions for Discussion 1. but he takes pride in reaching for the check in a restaurant and pulling out his wallet. How has public understanding of retardation changed in recent years? 4. That’s fun. In school. Is Mark able to work? Perhaps. there are still fear and hostility where the retarded are concerned. What are some of the positive effects of Mark upon the Hayakawa family? 8. When the author refers to the Dark Ages. packaging. What advice did the Hayakawas receive about Mark's possible negative effect upon their family? 5. If you have experience with retarded persons. 3. That's the pleasure of contributing something productive and useful to the outside world. Explain your overall reaction to the essay. We do not know yet if he could work in a restaurant loading a dishwasher. He cannot count. too. In what ways did Mark contribute to the stability and serenity of the Hayakawa family? 2. Why do you think Dr. How do the other children of the Hayakawa family show sensitivity to Mark and his retardation? 7. How important was it for Mark to be accepted as he was? for the family to accept him as he was? 4. And when we thank him for dinner. What are residence halls for the retarded? 9. 2. He does various kinds of assembling jobs. he learned jobs like sorting and stacking scrap wood and operating a delightful machine that swoops the string around and ties up a bundle of wood to be sold in the supermarket. Alan remarked once: “Mark may be retarded. but he’s not stupid?” What does he mean by that statement? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and simple machine operations. which to so many of us is “doing what you do not want to do because you have to”. In some ways the Dark Ages are still with us. To Mark. What are some of Mark's commendable qualities that his father observes? 3. give some of your own observations or conclusions regarding their place in society. It has been hard to develop in him the idea of work. Hayakawa wrote the essay? Exploring Ideas 1. sorting. It is a strange thing to say. He is now in a sheltered workshop where he can get the kind – the one kind – of 50 pleasure he doesn't have much chance for. like clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. how were they symbolic relevant to the counsel they received about Mark? 6. it is fun. and I am a little startled to find myself saying it. He thrives on routine and enjoys things others despise. He enjoys getting a pay-check and cashing it at the bank. Prospective neighbours have objected. but often I feel that I wouldn't have had Mark any different. he glows with pleasure.
One has the sense with the short story as a form that while everything may have been done. no comparable collection exists for essays. that so-and-so is the “last essayist”. Though more wayward or informal than an article or treatise. in 1956. needless to say. its order the by Edward Hoagland. Edward Hoagland is a confirmed city dweller who still lives in the city of his birth. photography. and if we ever find ourselves living in caves again. Inc. so many more see print. from spurious autobiography to spurious hallucination. After graduating from Harvard College in 1954. surely. Reprinted by permission of' Random House. Such changes in the reading public's taste aren't always to the good. essays. Hoagland served in the Army for two years and published his )karst novel. Cat Man. On Essays We sometimes hear that essays are an old-fashioned form. Mind’s natural Row. It is a greased pig. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . A personal essay is like the human voice talking. taught writing at various colleges in the New York area as well as in the well-known creative writing program at the University of Iowa. after movies. however. Autobiographies which aren’t novels are generally extended essays. on occasion. sometimes hockey affair that has lent itself to many of the excesses of the age.32 EDWARD HOAGLAN Born in New York City in 1932. “On Essays” was first published in 1976 and is included in Hoagland’s book. instead of the thick paper stock and thin readership of Partisan Review. somewhere it contains a point which is its real centre. as well as to the shabby careerism of traditional journalism. and this is what I am. nothing has been overdone. indeed. although they go back four hundred years to Montaigne. Essays are associated with the way young writers fashion a name – on plain. even if the point couldn't be uttered in fewer words than the essayist has used. it is strange that though two fine anthologies remain that publish the year's best stories. Rolling Stone. Essays. instead of a systematised outline of ideas. it has a permanence. it (with painting and drumming) will be the only art left. seem a mercurial. he has. The art of telling stories predated even cave painting. if a comparison is to be made. During his professional career. He is especially interested in the North American wilderness and has written books of essays concerning the animals of the wild as well as the wilderness itself. but the facts of the marketplace argue quite otherwise. hang somewhere on a line between two sturdy poles: this is what I think. Essays. Essays of nearly any kind are so much easier than short stories for a writer to sell. crowded newsprint in hybrid vehicles like the Village Voice. Hoagland has also written a number of short stories although he is probably best known as an essayist. the New York Review of Books. novels. biography. The Tugman’s Passage (1982). and all the rest have gone down the drain – the art to build from. newfangled.
Twain says that when he was a boy of fifteen. is a bit of a teacher or reformer. even a commitment to civility that is shared -. essays. conventional cotton of the magazine article writer. the essayist. as long as the purpose is served of elucidating a truthful point. This emphasis upon mind speaking to mind is what make essays less universal in their appeal than stories. for example. I believed he was the greatest orator in the United States and would some day be heard from. Because essays are directly concerned with the mind and the mind’s idiosyncrasy. and an essay is intended to convey the same point to each of us. like a coat of fur. which is about public opinion. exactly imitating the sound the bucksaw makes in shrieking its way through the wood. instead.33 Essays do not usually boil down to a summary.not the grand and golden empathy inherent in every man or woman that a storyteller has a chance to tap. and essays do tell a story quite as often as a short story stakes a claim to a particular viewpoint. in the distribution of rewards he was overlooked… He interrupted his preaching now and then to saw a stick of wood. and the style of the writer has a “nap” to it. In the old distinction between teaching and storytelling. perhaps a middle-class. a frame of reference. because we are not supposed to argue much about their meaning. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . as articles do. Nothing gets in the way. They are addressed to an educated. reader. compared with the flat. A novel would go on and tell us what happened next in the life of the slave – and we miss that. with a surface that generates sparks. however cleverly he camouflages his intentions. but the sawing was a pretense – he did it with his mouth. it kept his master from coming out to see how the work was getting along. But. it conveys the quality of the author's mind. Nevertheless. the very freedom the mind possesses is bestowed on this branch of literature that does honour to it. A personal essay frequently is not autobiographical at all. and the fascination of the mind is the fascination of the essay. To me he was a wonder. Essays belong to the animal kingdom. the artful “I” of an essay can be as chameleon as any narrator in fiction. But it did not happen. who works in the vegetable kingdom. But it served its purpose. but what it does keep in common with autobiography is that. begins with a vignette as vivid as any in Huckleberry Finn. with certain presuppositions. a combination of personality and originality and energetic loose ends that stand up like the nap on a piece of wool and cannot be brushed flat. he can shape or shave his memories. he used to hang out a back window and listen to the sermons preached by a neighbour’s slave standing on top of a woodpile: “He imitated the pulpit style of the several clergyman of the village. through its tone and tumbling progression. But the extraordinary flexibility of essays is what has enabled them to ride out rough weather and hybridise into forms that suit the times. may have fewer “levels” than fiction. Mark Twain's piece called “Corn-pone Opinions”. And just as one of the first things a fiction writer learns is that he needn’t actually be writing fiction to write a short story – that he can tell his own history or anybody else’s as exactly as he remembers it and it will be “fiction” if it remains primarily a story – an essayist soon discovers that he doesn’t have to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. and did it well and with fine passion and energy. on the other hand.
34 Questions for Discussion 1. How have you found this to be true in your reading of essays? 4. as in a single sentence? Give reasons for your answer. if any. what is the main purpose of all essays? What advantages. Write an essay of your own in which you expand upon Hoagland’s closing statement in Paragraph 6. because we are not supposed to argue much about their meaning”. What does the author mean by the following statements: (a) “A personal essay is like the human voice talking. does the essayist have over the short story writer? Exploring Ideas 1. Optional Activity 1. essays on the other hand. How does the author distinguish between essays and works of fiction? According to Hoagland. The author says that “essays are directly concerned with the mind and the mind's idiosyncrasy”. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . 2. Do you agree with the author that essays cannot be reduced to a summary. Agree or disagree with the statements discussed in question one of “Questions for Discussion”. may have fewer “levels” than fiction. 2. he can shape or shave his memories”. (Paragraph 3) (b) “But. Make a list of vocabulary items or expressions that you feel contribute in a positive way to the style of the author. How would you define the essay? What makes an essay good or bad? 3. instead of a systematised outline of ideas”. it orders the mind’s natural flow. (Paragraph 3) (c) “…an essayist soon discovers that he doesn't have to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (Paragraph 6) 2.
Harlem is a place – a city really – where almost anything any person could think of to say goes on. and its despair. but like any other city. hippy mamas in electric colours and their fast. that I could provide some way for him to get to that mystic and romantic place. But Harlem. and changing each second with each breath any of its citizens take. Some of the vendors even wear T-shirts that say "Harlem. near what is now called the Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . both in his plays as well as in his poetry. There are. means simply Negroes (even though some other peoples live there too). Harlem is simply a place white cab drivers will not go. But in another breath this same place will be the gathering place for every crippling human vice. In Havana a young Afro-Cuban begged me to tell him about the “big leg ladies” of Lenox Avenue. but. Of himself. of course. is a talented poet and playwright. Jones is also highly regarded as a prose stylist. as there are places with people to make them up. there are vendors who decorate their carts with flowers and the names or pictures of Negro culture heroes associated with Harlem like Sugar Ray Robinson. hoping. His position in America has always been paradoxical and he has been called a “poet of politics”. City of Harlem In a very real sense. and the black men there simply victims of their own peculiar kind of sloth and childishness. The identification is international as well: even in Belize. Harlem is the capital of Black America. and cultural. economic. it must escape any blank generalisation simply because it is alive. or New Amsterdam as the Dutch called it. now. almost as many versions of its glamour. essayist.. So in one breath Harlem will be the pleasure-happy centre of the universe. New Jersey. all of them twisting and grinning in the streets in a kind of existential joyousness that never permits of sadness or responsibility. And America has always been divided into black and white. whatever other associations one might connect with them. Though. U. contained within the central mythology of Harlem. the capital of predominantly Negro British Honduras. and the substance of the division is social. accused often of being a black racist. To show America it is ugly and full of middle-class toads (black and white)”. to be sure. as it exists for its people. chances are both these stereotypes come from the same kinds of minds. or has gone on. (In one meaning of the name. as an actual place where actual humans live – that is a very different thing.35 LEROI JONES (Amiri Baraka) Born in 1934 in Newark. But perhaps these are not such different versions after all." and they speak about it as a black Paris. they lived in the farthest downtown portions of the city. Jones has observed concerning his ambitions: “To write beautiful poems full of mystical sociology and abstract politics. too. full of loud. But even the name Harlem. I suppose.) And Harlem means not only Negroes.S. When Africans first got to New York. and unique Black militant. Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka). probably does go on. slick-head papas. as it is.A.
an elevated railway went up in the nineties. as an historic landmark called The Grange. but by the descendants of wealthy merchants. locally. and the Negro had to go elsewhere. is known as The Jumel House. with large apartment buildings. in the centre of Harlem. they shifted. Egg Nog Parties. after the success of an all black regiment in the Spanish-American war. But many others moved farther uptown to an area just above what was known as Hell's Kitchen. which was once lived in by Aaron Burr. and later. by many of the city's wealthiest families. Black Bohemia. baby. And even in the twenties when most Negroes had made their move even further uptown to Harlem. rolling greens. populated. Fish Fries. After this violence (a few million dollars' worth of property was destroyed. but there are a few that were particularly important as catalysts. George Washington used it as his headquarters for a while during the Revolutionary War. as well as the Gumbo Suppers. as a museum run by the D. Also. The immigrant groups living on both sides of the black ghetto fought in the streets to keep their own ghettos autonomous and pure. including the Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . The Morris house. The Civil War Draft Riots in 1863 accounted for the next move by New York's growing Negro population. this section was called San Juan Hill.36 Bowery. near the Polo Grounds. as their numbers grew. swelled as it was by the influx of Negroes from all over the city. and were shifted. Harlem (an area which the first Africans had helped connect with the rest of the Dutch city by clearing a narrow road – Broadway – up into the woods of New Harlem) was still a kind of semi-suburban area. the panic was on. were still being lived in. What made the area open up to Negroes was the progress that America has always been proud of -. and San Juan Hill or The Jungle featured all kinds of “sporting houses”. Saint Philips Church. afterhours gin mills. Chitterlin’ Struts. before the Negroes moved still farther uptown. The Tenderloin. and. built by men like Alexander Hamilton and Roger Morris. bought a large piece of property.A.) So there was still the quiet elegance of the nineteenth century brownstones and spacious apartment buildings. (The Hamilton house still stands near Morningside Heights. there were more race riots around the turn of the century between the white poor (as always) and the Negroes. and the very rich left immediately and the near rich very soon after. cabarets. “dancing classes”. to the section known as Greenwich Village. The section was a notorious red light district (but then there have only been two occupations a black woman could go into in America without too much trouble: the other was domestic help) and the overcrowding made worse by the moral squalor that poverty encourages meant that the growing local black population had to go somewhere. after having its old site bought up by a railroad company. the wide drives. The actual move into what is now Harlem was caused by quite a few factors. and huge-trunked trees. just about the turn of the century. First. for the most part. Three sections along the east side of Manhattan. and it still stands at the northern part of Harlem. Rich and famous Negroes moved into the vacated luxury houses very soon after. San Juan Hill was still a teeming branch office of black night life. The elaborate estates of the eighteenth century. Later.R. and a Negro orphanage was burned to the ground) a great many Negroes moved across the river into Brooklyn. The new Negro ghetto was known as Black Bohemia. the Black Bohemia section was by now extremely overcrowded. and Pigfoot Hops. At this time.
000. Detroit. for Negroes). and the long lines of unemployed Negroes and the longer lines at the soup kitchens and bread queues brought reality down hard on old and new Negroes alike.467. and an open air jail for the black. and. White intellectuals made frequent trips to Harlem. of course. and colourful Harlem became just a social liability for the white man. Delirious white people made the trip uptown to hear Negro musicians and singers. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . It was this mass exodus during the early part of the century that was responsible for most of the black cities of the North – the huge Negro sections of New York. of course. It was also responsible for what these sections would very shortly become. but with the best Negro entertainers. and the industrialists knew immediately where to turn. was the coming of the First World War and the mass exodus of Negroes from the South to large urban centres. the black man’s debut into the most sophisticated part of America. I suppose. It was. the city is simply a symbol of naked oppression. Harlem sparkled then. Chicago. There were nightclubs in Harlem that catered only to white audiences. to protect the people from themselves. not only to find out about a newly emerging black America. and watch Negro dancers. served to start thousands of Negroes scrambling North. by 1930 it was 227. The cold depression thirties. the seeming inability of the “free enterprise” system to provide either jobs or hope for a great many black people in the city of Harlem. someone will tell you. and The New Negro' for the intellectual. but to party with an international set of swinging bodies. as if. by 1920 it was 152. and it took the depression to dull that sparkle. It was the era of Ellington at The Cotton Club for the sensual. have served to make this city another kind of symbol. The panic was definitely on -.but still only locally.706. and the desperate call for cheap unskilled labour. And most of these moved.37 area now known as “Strivers Row”. and even Negro intellectuals. etc. thinking to have a go at an innocent America. and making a whole lot of noise. The flow of immigrants from Europe had all but ceased by 1914. at least externally. who are there. but the entrance of America into the War. as the masses of Southern Negroes piled into their new Jordans. uptown. During the twenties Harlem was the mecca of the good time and in many ways even came to symbolise the era called the Jazz Age. Everyone spoke optimistically of the Negro Renaissance. In 1900 the Negro population of New York City was 60. the old Negro wasn't good enough. The twenties are legend because they mark America’s sudden insane entrance into the 20th century. So the tourist trade diminished. Philadelphia. For many Negroes. coupled with the decay of old buildings and ancient neighbourhoods. At the turn of the century most Negroes still lived in the South and were agricultural labourers. The old darkies of the plantation were suddenly all over the North. and The New Negro. somehow. The war had brought about a certain internationalism and prosperity (even. They even sent recruiters down into the South to entice the Negroes North. relatively speaking. You can walk along 125th Street any evening and meet about one hundred uniformed policemen. which was made up of almost one hundred brick mansions designed by Stanford White. whether they live in Harlem or not. What really turned that quiet suburb into “Black Paris”.
but still hold out. and then make him so ashamed that he was among the oppressed. the employed. what is the Negro’s “legitimate cultural tradition?” Why is Harlem a “community of nonconformists?” Exploring Ideas Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and the unemployed: all going someplace – an endless stream of Americans. A community of nonconformists. and still try to make their own lives. against the hypocrisy and sterility of big-time America. According to the author. The New Negro: a collection of essays published in 1925 by Alain Locke. Vendors go by slowly and crowds of people from movies or church. 125 th is jammed with shoppers and walkers. Muslims. 4. and lives in shame about for the rest of his life. not an artists’ colony – though blind “ministers” still wander sometimes along 137th Street. (Saturday afternoons. The legitimate cultural tradition of the Negro in Harlem (and America) is one of wild happiness.) Young girls. of gait.38 For many Negroes. 5. that he will never offer any protest. even if it is a great deal of the time in misery and ignorance. who can hold out. accountants. is weird. but by now. detectives. People line the streets in summer – on the corners or hanging out the windows – or head for other streets in winter. Harlem for this reason is a community of nonconformists. a nonconformist in this society. and the record stores scream through loudspeakers at the street. almost suck his life away. because that colour now does serve to identify people in America whose feelings about it are not broadcast every day on television. preachers. But this is one of the weirdest things about the American experience. Harlem must contain all of this and be capable of producing all of these emotions. 3. simply by virtue of his blackness. rather than the oppressors. whose singularity in America is that they are black and can never honestly enter into the lunatic asylum of white America. simply because of their colour. 2. of dress. since any black American. 6. whispering along the strings of their guitars – but a colony of old-line Americans. What caused the area known as Harlem to open up to settlement by Negroes? What effect did World War I have upon Harlem? the twenties? According to the author. drummers. warm or cold. gamblers. that it can oppress a man. not so simply. But that culture is also one of hatred and despair. the warmness or hurt of someone’s voice. the sudden twist of a musical phrase. Questions for Discussion 1. doctors. usually at some black man’s own invention – of speech. Harlem is a place one escapes from. which attempted to define the culture of the American Negro. postmen. labour organisers. wives. historically. junkies. pimps. what is the mythology of Harlem? What is its “reality”? Describe how Harlem came into being.
How would you describe the “legitimate cultural tradition” of your people or nation? How important is it for people to have a cultural tradition? 3. What does he mean by such an observation? How would you define oppression? What kinds of oppression are there? 2. to you. is a nonconformist? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . What.39 1. The author calls New York City “a symbol of naked oppression”.
author Kingston presently lives in Hawaii where she teaches at the University of Hawaii. Recently I asked the postman for special-issue stamps. My silence was thickest – total – during the three years that I covered my school paintings with black paint. and everybody laughed. Inc. or I hold up the line with the complete. said my father. all alike and black. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. but most of them got over it sooner than we did. so I have to perform again. pointing at me. so I did it some more. I enjoyed the silence. where her parents had a laundry. and flunked kindergarten. A dumbness – a shame – still cracks my voice in two. in 1940. or ask an easy question in front of the check-out counter. I became silent. 1976 by Maxine Hong Kingston. published in 1980. I made motions and even made some jokes. At first it did not occur to me I was supposed to talk or to pass kindergarten. but my parents did not understand English. the other Chinese. There were other quiet Chinese girls not of our family. one after another. and it was the moment before the curtain parted or rose. I didn’t know that Americans do not drink out of saucers. “What did you say?” says the cab driver. I talked at home and to one or two of the Chinese kids in class. and I saw they had been saving my pictures. curling and cracking. even when I want to say “hello” casually. Her latest book. talked seriously too. The Woman Warrior: Memories of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. taken from her autobiography. though. is China Men. A telephone call makes my throat bleed and takes up that day’s courage. California. grammatical sentence that comes squeaking out at impossible length. she recalls some of the confusion and difficulties she faced as a small child living in two contrasting cultures – one American. It spoils my day with self-disgust when I hear my broken voice come skittering out into the open. sunlight underneath. a little every day. and when I drew on the blackboard. 4 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . I'm getting better. Knopf. I stand frozen.) My parents took the pictures home. I painted layers of black over houses and flowers and suns. I've waited since childhood for postmen to give me some of their own accord. (“The parents and teachers of criminals were executed”. I am making progress. silent in the playground and silent at lunch. My sister also said nothing for three years. The Misery of Silence 4 When I went to kindergarten and had to speak English for the first time. Maxine Hong Kingston grew up in a Chinese immigrant community.40 MAXINE HONG KINGSTON Born in Stockton. In the selection below. It makes people wince to hear it. The teachers pointed to the pictures and looked serious. Copyright © 1975. or ask directions of a bus driver. only weaker the second time. I was making a stage curtain. During the first silent year I spoke to no one at school. I spread them out (so black and full of possibilities) and pretended the curtains were swinging open flying up. mighty operas. I drank out of a toy saucer when the water spilled out of the cup. did not ask before going to the lavatory. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. I put a layer of chalk on top. or “Speak up”. The teachers called my parents to school.
the whole class went to the auditorium except the Chinese girls. while the rest of the class practiced copying or tracing. When my second grade class did a play. from 5:00 to 7:30 P. but instead left us behind in the classroom. though. There we chanted together. the teacher let each of us come to his desk and say the lesson to him privately. I read aloud in first grade. When we had a memorisation test. It was when I found out I had to talk that school became a misery. the middle so straight? Was it out of politeness that this writer left off strokes the way a Chinese has to write her own name small and crooked? No. “We Chinese cannot sing land where our fathers died”. and the teachers gave them Chinese names. when “here” is two mountainous ideographs. voices rising and falling. They appeared one day in kindergarten. who had already told me every day how to read “I” and “here”. Reading out loud was easier than speaking because we did not have to make up what to say. Our voices were too soft or nonexistent. “I” is a capital and “you” is lower-case.41 I liked the Negro students (Black Ghosts) best because they laughed the loudest and talked to me as if I were a daring talker too. put me in the low corner under the stairs again. loud and soft. The Japanese kids were noisy and tough. like the ghosts. on the map. Some Negro kids walked me to school and home.M. protecting me from the Japanese kids. who hit me and chased me and stuck gum in my ears. intricacies. so I knew the silence had to do with being a Chinese girl. “Louder”. and the teacher would think I'd gone quiet again. I could not understand “I”. should have understood about us. The other Chinese girls did not talk either. everybody reading together. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and heard the barest whisper with little squeaks come out of my throat. which was a tie-tac-toe mark. released from concentration camp. I remember telling the Hawaiian teacher. How could the American “I”. brushes. no strong consonant to hang on to. reciting together and not alone with one voice. I stared at that middle line and waited so long for its black centre to resolve into tight strokes and dots that I forgot to pronounce it. said the teacher. The teacher. and an inkbox neatly. that the silence became a misery. but closed it again quickly. lovely and Hawaiian. some boys shouting. Two Negro kids enrolled in Chinese school. One of us (not me) won every spelling bee. we picked up our cigar boxes. and so flat. have no memories. I did not speak and felt bad each time that I did not speak. After American school. it was not politeness. They never signed anything unnecessary. in which we had arranged books. The teacher. have only three strokes. She argued with me about politics. One of the Negro girls had her mother coil braids over her ears Shanghai-style like mine. where the noisy boys usually sat. assuredly wearing a hat like the Chinese. we were Shanghai twins except that she was covered with black like my paintings. though. but I stopped often. We opened the door a crack and peeked out. and our parents never signed the permission slips anyway. while I meant because of curses. But how can I have that memory when I couldn’t talk? My mother says that we. The other troublesome word was “here”. and went to Chinese school. The Chinese “I” has seven strokes. who scared the voice away again. like barbed wire.
copybooks. they had fistfights. I have watched a Chinese audience laugh. and then she sat down. I hoped that she would not cry. and holler during a piano recital. At recess we had the school to ourselves. ching-chong ugly. visit. One flag headquarters was behind the glass door and the other on stage right. no cymbals. The boys who were so well behaved in the American school played tricks on them and talked back to them. They screamed and yelled during recess. inks from China. She did not pause or stop to end the embarrassment. We played capture-theflag in the auditorium. and also we could roam as far as we could downtown. everybody talking at once. At exactly 7:30 the teacher again picked up the brass bell that sat on his desk and swung it over our heads. Nobody was afraid of children hurting themselves or of children hurting school property. My sister was scared. which has no punctuation. “Why is it I can hear Chinese from blocks away? Is it that I understand the language? Or is it they talk loud?” They turn the radio up full blast to hear the operas. When it was my turn. The glass doors to the red and green balconies with the gold joy symbols were left wide open so that we could run out and climb the fire escapes. During recess the teachers locked themselves up in their office with the shelves of books. no gongs. And the Chinese cannot hear Americans at all. They drank tea and warmed their hands at a stove. Chinatown stores. not beautiful like Japanese sayonara words with the consonants and vowels as regular as Italian. I was glad I didn't whisper. One new teacher said each of us had to get up and recite in front of the class. Chinese piano music is five black keys. though. I hoped that she could do it because if she could. spit flying. It was the first time a teacher had called on the second-born to go first. fear breaking up her voice like twigs underfoot. which do not seem to hurt their ears. hollering face to face. I was loud. bones rubbing jagged against one another. We American-Chinese girls had to whisper to make ourselves Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . but it wasn't a proper voice either. We make guttural peasant noise and have Ton Duc Thang names you cannot remember. How strange that the emigrant villagers are shouters. Normal Chinese women's voices are strong and bossy. It is the way Chinese sounds. The teacher called on my sister to recite first. where Sun Yatsen and Chiang Kai-shek’s pictures hung at the back of the stage. Our feet drummed on the hollow stage. the language is too soft and western music unhearable. big arm gestures. The girls were not mute. our cheering magnified in the stairwell. somebody’s son. She glanced at me and looked away. A Chinese-American. I looked down at my desk. home – as long as we returned before the bell rang. My sister and I had memorised the lesson perfectly. then I would have to. Not all of the children who were silent at American school found voice at Chinese school. And they yell over the singers that wail over the drums. talk-story. was playing Chopin.42 Most of the teachers were men. one chanting. when there were no rules. while we charged down the stairs. She opened her mouth and a voice came out that wasn't a whisper. the same voice came out. She kept going until she said the last word. one listening. It isn’t just the loudness. She sounded as if she were trying to sing though weeping and strangling. There was no play supervision. the Chinese flag on their left and the American flag on their right. You could hear splinters in my voice. My father asks. as if the musician could not hear them. We said it to each other at home. a crippled animal running on broken legs. We climbed the teak ceremonial chairs and made flying leaps off the stage. Nobody had to line up. to American ears. who was to listen. You can see the disgust on American faces looking at women like that.
What difficulty did the English pronoun. 4. “here”. a “problem” student in class? 5. At times shaking my head no is more self-assertion than I can manage. Questions for Discussion 1. cause Kingston? What trouble did the word. how would you have handled her? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . do people have "speaking personalities?" Explain. however faltering. Most of us eventually found some voice. We invented an American-feminine speaking personality. for the therapists. 3. Once a year the teachers referred my sister and me to speech therapy.43 American-feminine. and said nothing. What is the significance of Kingston’s paintings? How are they related to her silence? 2. In your opinion. What contrasts between American characteristics and those of the Chinese does the author make? Exploring Ideas 1. Contrast the behaviour of the Chinese students in American school with that in Chinese school. Does the essay picture a stereotype of the Oriental woman? Explain your answer. Some of us could not even shake our heads. Some of us gave up. but our voices would straighten out. If you had been Kingston's teacher. “I”. shook our heads. Apparently we whispered even more softly than the Americans. perhaps. 2. not one word. unpredictably normal. present? 3. In what way was Kingston.
form. Picasso. surface and design. England. Copyright (C) 1965 by Cory. Kuh’s thesis in the following essay is that modern art tends to be one of fragmentation and that this tendency has increased over the years. This they tried to do by a series of From BREAK UP: THE CORE OF MODERN ART by Katherine Kuh. Less interested in realistic light than in his own highly charged emotions. dissolution today does not necessarily mean lack of discipline. the process of breaking up is quite different from the process of breaking down. Besides Break Up: The Core of Modern Art (1965). light. broken colour. content. Duchamp. and The Open Eye (1971). their Italian colleagues. pigment. dissolving forms and shredded images. It was the Cubists. he allowed smashing rhythmic brushstrokes to mirror his personal turbulence. Here was the beginning of a gradual but steady tendency toward diffusion in art. Known as Impressionism. In doing so he foretold twentieth-century Expressionism. It can also mean a new kind of discipline. In the nineteenth century. every aspect of art has been broken up – colour. And during the last hundred years. that aptly named movement which relied on pitted surfaces.44 KATHERINE KUH Katherine Kuh was born in 1904 in St. As the Cubists broke through the boundaries of conventional form to show multiple aspects simultaneously. easels were moved out-of-doors and colour was broken into relatively minute areas in order to approximate the reality of sunlight and to preserve on canvas nature's own fleeting atmospheric effects. Modern Art 5 The art of our century has been characterised by shattered surfaces. hoped to encompass the uninterrupted motion of an object at one time. line. Perhaps the most revolutionary break-up in modern art took place a little more than fifty years ago with the advent of Cubism. unpredictable colour and scarred textures to intensify emotional expression. on three-dimensional form and on a traditional centre of interest. In 1959 she was appointed art editor for the Saturday Review. Adams and McKay Ltd. Missouri and educated at Vassar College and the University of Chicago. the Futurists. However. segmented compositions. Braque. London. Picabia. Vincent Van Gogh transformed broken colour into broken pigment. Delaunay and Juan Gris. Louis. 5 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . so the Expressionists hoped to liberate their own feelings from all trace of artificiality. broken outlines.. space. who responded to the inordinate multiplicity of present-day life by breaking up and arbitrarily rearranging transparent planes and surfaces so that all sides of an object could be seen at once. The Artist's Voice (1962). Leger. As the Impressionists were bent on freeing nature from sham. A few years later. from which this essay was taken. this movement was the first step in a long sequence of experiments that finally banished the Renaissance emphasis on humanism. her books include Art Has Many Faces (1951). Moreover. for disintegration is often followed by reconstruction. Curiously insistent is this consistent emphasis on break-up. the artist deliberately smashing his material only to reassemble it in new and unexpected relationships. She has been curator of modern painting and sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute.
the later artists quite reasonably concentrated on city scenes. allowing disconnected episodes to recreate the disturbing life of our unconscious. surface and design. From the beginning. These canvases defy all the old rules as they reveal the immediate spontaneous feelings of the artist in the process of painting. Frankly influenced by Freudian discoveries. the history of break-up becomes a key to the history of art. Finally we come to the total break-up of Abstract Expressionism. With Surrealism came still another kind of break-up. In nineteenth-century Europe the interest in atmospheric phenomena was not an isolated expression limited to the Impressionists. There is no one central idea. The wonders of natural light became a focus for nineteenth-century artists exactly as the magic of artificial light stimulated painters of the precentury. If the earlier men were more interested in rural landscapes seen out-of-doors in the sunlight. preferably at night when man-made luminosity tends to puncture both form and space. it was science in one form or another that affected modern painting and sculpture. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . from far – all at one and the same time (not an unfamiliar experience for eyes accustomed to air travel). no end only an incessant flow and flux where lightning brushstrokes report the artist’s impulsive and compulsive reactions. perspective and distance often became severely dislocated.45 overlapping transparent forms illustrating the path of an object as it moved through space. Here break-up turns into both content and form. Content was purposely unhinged in denial of all rational expression. no beginning. with the impetuous paint itself telling the full story. At that time. Denying the orderly naturalism of the Renaissance. Here again is the Cubist idea of simultaneity. the twentieth-century urge to approach a scene from many different directions in a single condensed encounter. writing widely on the subject as they investigated the relationship of colour to the human eye. from near. We look from above. Since the discovery of the atom bomb.line. a technique that celebrates the specific act of painting (sometimes appropriately called Action Painting). but there have been other and earlier causes. light. numerous scientists were experimenting with all manner of optical colour laws. One cannot deny that the last two devastating wars and the possibility of a still more devastating one to come do affect our daily thinking. this movement splintered time sequence with an abandon borrowed from the world of fragmented dreams. colour. The pigment actually develops a life of its own. painters today project space and distance from innumerable eye levels. Artists like Monet and Seurat were familiar with these findings and not unnaturally applied them to their paintings. No naturalistic image is needed to describe these artists’ volatile feelings. form. almost strong enough to hypnotise the painter. As one looks back over the last hundred years. Now everything is shattered -. pigment. intentionally segmenting their compositions into conflicting perspectives. from below. The influence of contemporary warfare with its colossal explosions and upheavals has unquestionably had much to do with the tendency toward fragmentation in art. from diverse angles. Why painters and sculptors of this period have been so involved with problems of dissolution is a question only partly answered by the obvious impact of modern scientific methods of destruction. It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the influence of contemporary scientific research on the development of Impressionism. At the same time. the break-up of chronology. science has become almost synonymous with destruction.
they banished all time barriers and moral judgements to combine disconnected dream experiences from the past. Stating that the art of the 20th century has been characterised by “consistent emphasis on break-up”. What role have Freud's psychoanalytic studies played in some types of modern art? Exploring Ideas 1. especially Surrealism. Think of some art form that especially interests you. are the psychoanalytic studies of Freud and his followers. music. There is little doubt that contemporary art has taken much from contemporary life. claimed that dreams were the only hope. Turning to the irrational world of their unconscious. present and intervening psychological states.46 less influential. Quite the contrary: it has been used to examine more fully. the author proceeds to outline this tendency in different art movements. etc. isolate and make more familiar certain aspects of life that earlier we were apt to neglect.. discoveries that have infiltrated recent art. drama. To what degree is the thesis true or not true? Illustrate your observations with examples. Painters and sculptors. in their struggle to escape the monotony and frustrations of everyday life. what does she mean? 5. it has not always been a symbol of destruction. If break-up has been a vital part of their expression. In a period when science has made revolutionary strides. to penetrate more deeply. and apply Kuh’s thesis about break-up. obsessive and often unrelated images replaced the direct emotional messages of Expressionism. it sometimes provides rich multiple experiences so organised as not merely to reflect our world. Their paintings often become segmented capsules of associative experiences. But this has rarely been a one-way street. The Surrealists. such as movies. Discuss how “break-up” was manifested in the following: (a) Impressionism (b) Expressionism (c) Cubism (d) Surrealism (e) Abstract Expressionism 3. How has science or modern technology affected modern painting and sculpture? 6. In addition. in what way? 4. Has contemporary warfare influenced art? If so. but in fact to interpret it. artists in their studios have not been unaware of scientists in their laboratories. the author speaks of “broken colour” and “broken pigment”. if you can. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . to enlarge. though admittedly influenced by modern science. They did not need to smash pigment and texture. What influence has speed had on modern art? 7. have also molded and changed our world. Questions for Discussion 1. literature. Do you agree with Katherine Kuh’s thesis about modern art? Give your reasons pro or con. to analyse more thoroughly. 2. In paragraph 2. For them. they went beyond this to smash the whole continuity of logical thought. The Surrealists were concerned with overlapping emotions more than with overlapping forms.
beige. Copyright © 1974. You Are What You Say 6 “Women’s language” is that pleasant (dainty?). It is simply that fine discriminations of this sort are relevant to women's vocabularies. we are ridiculed for being unable to think clearly. aquamarine. a left-handed compliment. ecru. to men. women are encouraged and allowed to make far more precise discriminations in naming colours than men do. Robin Lakoff studied at Radcliffe College and Harvard University. and the ways we were spoken of. Professor Lakoff has long shown interest in the role of language in women's lives. if. but largely absent from that of most men. For example. we are ridiculed and criticised for being unfeminine. Currently. A tag is midway between an outright statement and a yes-no question. Having learned our linguistic lesson well. That statement indicates confidence in the speaker's knowledge and is fairly certain to be believed. unable to take part in a serious discussion. It doesn't take much of this for a woman to begin feeling she deserves such treatment because of inadequacies in her own intelligence and education. In the area of syntax. are unremarkable in a woman's active vocabulary. the subjects we were allowed to speak about. “Women’s language” shows up in all levels of English. The following essay was first published in Ms in 1974. is used when the speaker is stating a 6 From MS Magazine. There is one construction. in particular. I can legitimately ask someone else: "Was the player out at third?" A tag question. and damned if we do not. a question indicates a lack of knowledge on some point and implies that the gap in the speaker's knowledge can and will be remedied by an answer. lavender. such distinctions are trivial – irrelevant. euphemistic never-aggressive way of talking we learned as little girls. who control most of the interesting affairs of the world. I know of no evidence suggesting that women actually see a wider range of colours than men do. we find similar gender-related peculiarities of speech. An early contributor to MS magazine which was founded in 1972 to give expression to the feminist movement in the United States. For example. but more confident than the latter. unassertive language of our sex. we go out in the world. that women use conversationally far more than men: the tag question. at a Little League game. If we refuse to talk “like a lady”. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . at best. but not to men's. where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. and so on. she is a professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. (“She thinks like a man” is. it is less assertive than the former. only to discover that we are communicative cripples -.damned if we do. I have had my glasses off. Cultural bias was built into the language we were allowed to speak. Robin Lakog.) If we do learn all the fuzzy-headed. Words like mauve.47 ROBIN LAKOFF Born in 1942. and therefore unfit to hold a position of power. being intermediate between statement and question.
“Joan is here. if you agree”. Why is this the case? The tag question allows a speaker to avoid commitment. speakers may also give the impression of not really being sure of themselves. Such idiosyncrasies may explain why women's language sounds much more "polite" than men's. is not it?” But in discussing personal feelings or opinions. and even more impolite – implies that the speaker is in a superior position and able to enforce the order. used almost exclusively by women. non-compliance cannot harm the addressee. So if I say. This sort of tag question is much more apt to be used by women than by men in conversation. way of giving leeway. even though the speaker is clearly the only one who has the requisite information. as far as I know. So a tag question is a kind of polite statement. might be thought of as a statement that doesn't demand to be believed by anyone but the speaker. since she “cannot make up her mind”. as in “The situation in Southeast Asia is terrible. on anyone else. is not she?” instead. for which corroboration is sought. and others will refrain from taking her seriously or trusting her with any real responsibilities. Another common use of the tag question is in small talk when the speaker is trying to elicit conversation: “Sure is hot here. chances are I am already biased in favour of a positive answer. do not I?” are clearly ridiculous. wanting only confirmation. then. This uncertainty is reinforced in more subliminal ways. other possible interpretations of a sentence like this. rather than perceptions. “Six o’clock – if that’s okay with you. but I have enough knowledge (or think I have) to predict that response. or views. which changes a declarative answer into a question. by so doing. I still want a response. but if I say. is not it?” While there are. often unbeknownst to herself. in that it does not force obedience on the addressee. in that it does not force agreement or belief on the addressee. only the speaker normally has any way of knowing the correct answer.48 claim. of course. One likely consequence of this sort of speech pattern in a woman is that. a speaker implies that if the request is not carried out. It is polite to leave a decision open. By couching wishes in the form of a request. “Is Joan here?” I will probably not be surprised if my respondent answers "no". The effect of using the rising inflection typical of a yes-no question is to imply that the speaker is seeking confirmation. or claims. There is a peculiar sentence-intonation pattern. too. only the speaker will suffer. In the same way a request is a polite command. But there are other examples where it is the speaker's opinions. which is why the question was put to her in the first place: (Q) When will dinner be ready? (A) Oh…around six o’clock…? It is as though the second speaker were saying. A tag question. but lacks full confidence in the truth of that claim. on the other hand. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . the speaker builds a reputation of tentativeness. and thereby avoid conflict with the addressee. but rather suggests something be done as a favour to the speaker. or looking to the addressee for confirmation of their views. of not forcing the addressee to go along with the views of the speaker. and “isn’t sure of herself”. The problem is that. A clearly stated order implies a threat of certain consequences if it is not followed. Sentences such as “I have a headache. one possibility is that the speaker has a particular answer in mind – “yes” or “no” – but is reluctant to state it baldly. not impose your mind. The person being addressed is put in the position of having to provide confirmation.
But for some reason lady is very much commoner than gentleman. To say lady doctor is very condescending. those used to describe women make matters even worse. by implication rather than outright assertion. The distinction becomes clear in these examples: Close the door. tone to the sentence: the matter under discussion is not one of great moment. If woman is used. The use of lady in (a) imparts a frivolous. as the following examples show: (a) A woman (lady) I know is a dean at Berkeley. Please close the door. since feelings about the things or people referred to are not altered by a change of name. or no serious. of Madalyn Murray O’Hair as the lady atheist reduces her position to that of scatterbrained eccentric. but less serious ones may. namely gentleman.49 So the decision is really left up to the addressee. Many women argue that. and cannot do things by herself. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . The use of euphemisms has this effect. of course. it assumes a special meaning that. occasionally shortened to gent. on the other hand. Even woman atheist is scarcely defensible: sex is irrelevant to her philosophical position. A euphemism is a substitute for a word that has acquired a bad connotation by association with something unpleasant or embarrassing. The word. Lady has a masculine counterpart. mention in the San Francisco Chronicle of January 31. but when it is applied to women. it takes on the same old bad connotations. (b) (b) A woman (lady) I know makes amazing things out of shoelaces and old boxes. The decision to use lady rather than woman. but we must also remember that these implications are perilous: they suggest that a "lady" is helpless. in (b). but merely a hobby or an aberration. This makes the term seem polite at first. Often a word may be used of both men and women (and perhaps of things as well). thus new euphemisms must be constantly found. using lady here would suggest that the speaker considered the "amazing things" not to be serious art. For example. Lady can also be used to infer frivolousness. as in titles of organisations. since no one every says gentleman doctor or even man doctor. There is one euphemism for woman still very much alive. may considerably alter the sense of a sentence. Similarly. Will you close the door? Will you please close the door? Won't you close the door? In the same ways as words and speech patterns used by women undermine her image. or vice versa. 1972. she might be a serious sculptor. Those that have a serious purpose (not merely that of enabling "the ladies" to spend time with one another cannot use the word lady in their titles. is derogatory to women as a group. is lady. lady carries with it overtones recalling the age of chivalry: conferring exalted stature on the person so referred to. But almost as soon as the new word comes into common usage.
society has changed in such a way that the original meanings now are irrelevant. or the Thursday Evening Ladies' Browning and Garden Society with Ladies' Liberation or Ladies' Strike for Peace. metaphorically related to their original senses." Master requires as its object only the name of some activity. were simple male-female equivalents. for independent reasons. see. Unless used with reference to animals. becomes usable metaphorically in the sense of "having power over something. Yet the words have not been discarded. Now let's take a pair of words which. That this distinction is already made in some contexts at least is shown in the following examples. What kind of euphemism is it that subtly denigrates the people to whom it refers? Perhaps lady functions as a euphemism for woman because it does not contain the sexual implications present in woman: it is not “embarrassing” in that way. normally nonsexual. But women of all ages are “girls”: one can have a man – not a boy – Friday. It may be that this use of girl is euphemistic in the same way the use of lady is: in stressing the idea of immaturity. Another common substitute for woman is girl. so do not mess around with her. but only a girl – never a woman or even a lady – Friday. analogous to bull: cow. If this is so. She is a person who is both too immature and too far from real life to be entrusted with responsibilities or with decisions of any serious or important nature. Harry wanted to find a woman. She’s my woman. By seeing where the parallelism breaks down. which are meant to suggest an air of adolescent frivolity and irresponsibility. But mistress requires a masculine noun in the possessive to precede it. lady will replace woman as the primary word for the human female. both roughly paraphrasable as "one who has power over another. One cannot say: "Rhonda is a mistress. but have acquired new meanings. What is curious about this split is that lady is in origin a euphemism – a substitute that puts a better face on something people find uncomfortable – for woman." One must be someone's mistress." But the masculine form. One seldom hears a man past the age of adolescence referred to as a boy. A man is defined by what he does. master now generally refers to a man who has acquired consummate ability in some field. Suppose we find that. we discover something about the different roles played by men and women in this culture. but men do not – in a non-sexual sense – have boyfriends. something inanimate and abstract. that Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . master: mistress. Once used with reference to one's power over servants. save in expressions like "going out with the boys. But the words are still common. a boy's errand)." We start out with two terms. But its feminine counterpart cannot be used this way. in terms of the possible relationships in an earlier society. it removes the sexual connotations lurking in woman. It is practical restricted to its sexual sense of "paramour. But suppose these new metaphorical uses are no longer parallel to each other. since woman will have become too blatantly sexual. we may expect that.50 Compare the Ladies' Auxiliary of a men's group. One good example of such a divergence through time is found in the pair. for that matter. where you can try replacing woman with lady: (a) (b) After ten years in jail. women have girlfriends. once one person is no longer able to have absolute power over another. a woman by her sexuality. Girl brings to mind irresponsibility: you do not send a girl to do a woman's errand (or even. these words have become unusable today in their original master-servant sense as the relationship has become less prevalent in our society. in the future.
John." The resemblance ends with the definition. "Thank goodness! You had a close call!" For the man. and this is what makes the idea of a bachelor existence attractive. like children. there was no such danger. it is time to speak up. but not something essential. is the author endeavouring to explain." "honey. To congratulate a woman on her engagement is really to say. The linguistic double standard holds throughout the life of the relationship. These examples could be multiplied. on the other hand. What is the effect of using the term. according to Professor Lakoff? 4. and so on. fussiness. How does women's language sound more "polite" than that of men? 5. are supposed to enjoy these endearments. In the first paragraph. It is generally considered a faux pas. to refer to women? How is it denigrating in impact? 6. Exploring Ideas Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and the ways we were spoken of”. rather than being offended by them. Why is this? The reason seems to be that it is impolite to remind people of things that may be uncomfortable to them. How does the author support this statement? 2. Finally. puritanism or celibacy." and other terms of endearment they really have no business using? A male customer would never put up with it. often used as a compliment. Questions for Discussion 1. why is it that salesclerks and others are so quick to call women customers "dear. spinster normally is used pejoratively. But women. The same is true of the words spinster and bachelor -. or at least not seriously. What is the linguistic double standard involved with master-mistress and bachelorspinster? 7. in society.51 is. however.gender words for "one who is not married. in the popular literature. He has been pursued and has successfully eluded his pursuers. with connotations of prissiness. Why is the tag question more common among women than among men. To be a bachelor implies that one has a choice of marrying or not. In this essay. is never “Mary’s widower”. ' and another to be an old mistress. not man and woman. After marriage. The woman whose husband dies remains “John’s widow”. She is old. What does the author mean by calling women "communicative cripples"? Is her argument convincing? 3. His choosing to marry is viewed as a good thing. The metaphorical connotations of bachelor generally suggest sexual freedom. unwanted goods. lady. While bachelor is a neuter term. while it is correct to congratulate her fiance. to congratulate a woman on her engagement. of spinster. the subjects we were allowed to speak about. to inform. in terms of one particular aspect of her relationship to men. Lakoff states: “Cultural bias was built into the language we were allowed to speak. But a spinster is one who has not been pursued. In more ways than one. or to persuade? Give your reasons. bachelor and spinster become man and wife. It is one thing to be an old master like Hans Holbein.
Is it. What is “men’s language” in your opinion? 3. women’s language sounds more polite than that of men. Do you think that a person’s language frequently defines his/her role in society? Can you give illustrations? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . really a sign of weakness or uncertainty? 5. 2. as she observes. How valid would Professor Lakoff's observations about “women’s language” be in the society of your country?. Can you think of any advantages or disadvantages for talking like a woman? like a man? 4. According to Lakoff.52 1.
Most Americans suffer a sense of loss. painful memory of the Great Depression used to enforce a disciplined and occasionally docile approach to work – in much the way that older citizens in the Soviet Union do not complain about scarce food and overpopulated apartments. The psychology of work is much changed in America. The work ethic is not dead. union benefits. of diminution. work was ultimately availing: the numb toil of an illiterate grandfather got the father a foothold and a high school education. The Value of Working 7 During the 19th century industrialisation of America. The century's huge machinery of production punished and stunned those who ran it. Reprinted by permission of TIME. The motive of work was all. Besides. To work for a better life for one's children and grandchildren lends the labour a fierce dignity. A woman who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist. 8 l The Triangle Shirtwaist Company was a sweatshop employing European immigrants. persisting like a life force – is the American quality that many find missing now. In a 1911 fire there 145 people were killed. still do not keep in dark storage that residual apocalyptic memory of Hoovervilles and the Dust Bowl and banks capsizing. if Ford closes Copyright (C)198I Time Inc. the family went to Westchester County. So for millions of Americans. Pennsylvania in 1939. Lance Morrow was born in Philadelphia. even of worthlessness if they are thrown out on the street. In the following essay. and today’s younger workers. 7 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . as they laboured through the complexities of generations. written in 1981. welfare payments. an unconquerably hopeful energy and aspiration – driving.8 fire in lower Manhattan had a niece who made it to the halcyon Bronx. And yet for generations of immigrants. the wild and notorious behaviour of the economy takes a certain amount of personal shame out of joblessness. Work is still a profoundly respectable thing in America. the sense of personal ruin. at very low wages. But the generation of the Depression is retiring and dying off. though sometimes laid off and kicked around by recessions and inflation. All rights reserved. because they remember how much more horrible everything was during the war. but it is weaker now. the idea of work's inherent virtue may have seemed temporarily implausible to generations who laboured in the mines and mills and sweatshops. Co. Today elaborate financial cushions – unemployment insurance.53 LANCE MORROW Currently on the staff of Time magazine. Morrow examines the American work ethic in the 1980s. But the blow seldom carries the life-and-death implications it once had. And another generation on. and the immigrant work ethic came at last to merge with the Protestant work ethic. He graduated from Harvard College in 1963 and shortly afterward joined Time as a writer of articles dealing with a wide range of topics. That dignity. mostly women. To work for mere survival is desperate. and the son wound up in college or even law school. work worked. The acute. food stamps and so on – have made it less catastrophic to be out of a job for a while.
work functions in a hierarchy of needs: first. While their fathers and grandfathers and greatgrandfathers concentrated hard upon plow and drill press and pressure gauge and tort. Feminism – and financial need – have made them. The Dust Bowl was a region including Oklahoma and parts of neighbouring states that was afflicted by severe drought and high winds. gives one's exertions a tough moral simplicity. the demands of the ego arise. work is alone noble. their expectations are higher. in effect." Next.700 workers into the unemployment lines. men and women assert a larger desire for "self-actualization. even cotton spinning. or boat people trying to open a restaurant. Barrio. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Finally. Having to work to stay alive. the guilt falls less on individuals than on Japanese imports or American car design or an extortionate OPEC. different classes and ethnic groups are perched at different stages in the work hierarchy. The zealously ambitious Koreans who run New York City's best vegetable markets. refers to a self-realisation program and group founded by Werner Erhard. For the first time in the history of the world. or Chicanos who struggle to start a small business in the barrio are still years away from est and the Sierra Club . is there some inherent worth in work? Carlyle believed that "all work. a sophisticated-immigrant wave upon the economy. it can address the need for security and then for friendship and "belongingness. the international price. basic human maintenance. the empty face that gazes back from the mirror. The Sierra Club is an organisation for enjoying and protecting the wilderness of America. work provides food and shelter. masses of people in industrially advanced countries no longer have to focus their minds upon work as the central concern of their existence.and quotasetting cartel. to the extent that they are new at it. a vaporously selfish discontent that dead-ends in isolation. In the formulation of Psychologist Abraham Maslow.54 down a plant in New Jersey and throws 3. Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries. The name came from President Herbert Hoover because it was during his administration that they existed. dispossessed people during the early years of the Great Depression. is noble." Was he right? Hooverville was the name of any shantytown of unemployed. the need for respect. The point of work in that case is so obvious that it need not be discussed. now form a powerful source of ambition and energy. to build a future. Working women. East. pluralistic America. Spanish for “neighbourhood” and here used to refer to a Hispanic area. But apart from the sheer necessity of sustaining life. Latin for is. The immigrants – legal and illegal – who still flock densely to America are fighting for the foothold that the jogging tribes of self-actualizers achieved three generations ago." That seems a harmless and even worthy enterprise but sometimes degenerates into self-infatuation. Because today's workers are better educated than those in the past. some younger workers now ask previously unimaginable questions about the point of knocking themselves out. Many younger Americans have rearranged their ideas about what they want to get out of life. Of course in patchwork. After that.
has passed from “alienation” into a degradation that is almost mystical. Such adaptations are often more important than the famous but theoretical alienation from the process and product of labour. Certainly workers often feel abstracted out. “It is just like home”. cooked for. N. hang out with them. Work is the most thorough and profound organising principle in American life. replanted. our co-workers often form our new family. all work expresses the labourer in a deeper sense: all life must be worked at. for example. Freud said that the successful psyche is one capable of love and of work. Despite the sometimes nostalgic haze around their images. But misery and drudgery are always comparative. There is a peculiar elitist arrogance in those who discourse on the brutalisations of work simply because they cannot imagine themselves performing the job.Y. Work is still the complicated and crucial core of most lives. Questions for Discussion Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Unless it is dishonest or destructive – the labour of a pimp or a hit man. Warner-Lambert announced that it would close down its gum-manufacturing American Chicle factory in Long Island City. The Indian. formed. There is a Renaissance splendor in Leonardo’s effusion: “The works that the eye orders the hands to make are infinite”. one feeder-catcher-packer of chewing gum said sadly. the pre-industrial peasant and the 19th century American farmer did brutish work far harder than the assembly line. Work is the way that we tend the world. the average 19-year-old peasant has worked longer and harder than most Americans of middle age. sustained. living under the protection of salaries. if I were working. Even there. It is the most vigorous. we become almost citizens of our companies. protected. coaxed. reduced sometimes to dreary robotic functions. diapered. in some chewing-gum factory…” Well. But most of us labour closer to the ground. self-loving and self-respecting. the way that people connect. fashioned.: the workers who had spent years there making Dentyne and Chiclets were distraught. to schmooze. vivid sign of life – in individuals and in civilisations. Sociologist Robert Schrank believes that people like jobs mainly because they need other people. pensions and health insurance. say – all work is intrinsically honourable in ways that are rarely understood as they once were. Psychologist Maslow. Says Schrank: “The workplace performs the function of community”.55 It is seigniorial cant to romanticise work that is truly detestable and destructive to workers. our tribe. the occupation melded inseparably to the identity. But almost everyone commands endlessly subtle systems of adaptation. after all. planted. two weeks ago. they need to gossip with them. In Nicaragua. for example. people can make the work their own and even cherish it against all academic expectations. Americans prone to restlessness about the spiritual disappointments of work should consult unemployed young men and women in their own ghettos: they know with painful clarity the importance of the personal dignity that a job brings. “It is a beautiful place to work”. Only the fortunate toil in ways that express them directly. once wrote that he found it difficult “to conceive of feeling proud of myself. our social world. If mobility has weakened old blood ties. The untouchable who sweeps excrement in the streets of Bombay would react with blank incomprehension to the malaise of some $17-an-hour workers on a Chrysler assembly line. Americans often fall into fallacies of misplaced sympathy.
How do you react to the statement? To what extent is Morrow speaking from the point of view of his American work ethic? Write a short composition in which you agree or disagree with the statement. how do you define noble? If not. how would you characterise work? 5.56 1. The author observes that the psychology of work has changed in America. What does the author means by this remark? What reasons does the author give for saying that “Work is still a profoundly respectable thing in America?” Exploring Ideas 1. according to the author? 4. the way that people connect. Morrow asks if “there is some inherent worth in work”. “Work is the most thorough and profound organising principle in American life”. What value did work have for immigrants to America? 2. How does he illustrate this observation? 3. What does the author means by the first sentence of paragraph 10? 5. What does that statement mean to you? Do you agree or disagree? What are some of the ways that work is honourable? 6. What to you is a “work ethic”? Is it a part of the culture of your country? 2. What does the author seem to believe about the "brutalisation" of work? What does he mean by a “systems of adaptation” to work? 6. vivid sign of life in individuals and in civilisations”. How do you react to the last sentence of paragraph 6? Do you agree or disagree? 3. How does he answer the question? 7. Do you consider work noble? If so. Quoting Carlyle. Do you believe that there is a dignity in work? 4. What does work mean to you personally? What would you like your life work to be? What would you expect from such work in the way of satisfaction and rewards? 7. “Work functions in a hierarchy of needs”. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Lance Morrow concludes his essay by saying “Work is the way that we tend the world. The author states that “all work is intrinsically honourable in ways that are rarely understood as they once were”. It is the most vigorous. What does psychologist Abraham Maslow mean by this thesis? How does it apply to the American work scene.
but seemed more than worth the trouble. This was expensive to do.57 NEIL POSTMAN Neil Postman was born in New York City in 1931 and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia and Columbia University. there are at least four important reasons why question asking language causes us problems. came up with an inexpensive and more efficient idea. a sensible person would have to ask several more pointed Copyright (C) 1976 by Neil Postman. in a village in what is now Lithuania. STUPID TALK. but I have been told that once upon a time. Each coffin would have a twelve-inch stake affixed to the inside of the coffin lid. and not only in Lithuania. “Why am I a failure?” and “What is the meaning of life?” are typical examples…. One group of people suggested that the coffins be well stocked with water and food and that a small air vent be drilled into them just in case one of the “dead” happened to be alive. For example. The key words in the questions are so vague that it is a mystery to know where to begin looking for answers. is to design the form that our knowledge will take and therefore to determine the direction of our actions. there was no definite way of knowing if the victim was actually dead when it appeared seemly to bury him. Currently he teaches communication at New York University. As a result. How to overcome this uncertainty was their dilemma. 9 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Then. Why am I a failure?. Their work. The first is that our questions are sometimes formed at such a high level of abstraction that we cannot answer them at all. The questions may not be evident to us. however. A curious disease afflicted many of the townspeople. and its onset was signalled by the victim's lapsing into a deathlike coma. doing their work. How can we make sure that everyone we bury is dead? The point is that all the answers we ever get are responses to questions. For several years he served as a teacher in various elementary and secondary schools. all uncertainty would cease. especially in everyday affairs. exactly at the level of the heart. How can we make sure that we do not bury people who are still alive? The second was an answer to the question. of course. but for my purposes. Medical science not being quite so advanced as it is now. What is mostly important here is that the two different solutions were generated by two different questions. Silent Questions 9 I cannot vouch for the story. in trying to respond helpfully to a troubled questioner who asks. unacknowledged questions which inevitably produce bad and all-too-visible answers. It was mostly fatal (although not always). whichever it was is irrelevant. the townspeople feared that several of their relatives had already been buried alive and that a similar fate might await them – a terrifying prospect. A great deal of stupid and/or crazy talk is produced by bad. when the coffin was closed. The first solution was an answer to the question. As far as I can determine. There is no record as to which solution was chosen. Reprinted with permission from the author's book CRAZY TALK. but they are there nonetheless. A second group. there arose a most unusual problem.
" "the most excellent. In the process of doing this. one may discover that the question being asked was not so much. But because it has the form of a question. not so much a question as a kind of assertion that the responsibility for one’s life lies entirely outside oneself. Stupid Talk: Jeez! Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . “Why am I a failure?” but.58 questions to get within answering range: What do you mean by “failure”? What specifically have you “failed” at? When have these “failures” taken place? In what circumstances? What do you mean by “success”. reality oriented answers. Sensible Talk: Using what criteria for which aspects of his performance? Stupid Talk: Why are you making this so complicated? You mean to tell me you do not know what "best" means? Sensible Talk: Right. and perhaps that is why some people choose to ask it and ask it repeatedly. It is. which will lead to continuous frustration and demoralisation. And they produce the same unsatisfying results. “Why are people always trying to cheat me?” or “When will the breaks start to come my way?” is the sort of question that can be treacherously endearing. “Why did my marriage end in divorce?” “Why did I lose my job?" or even something as relatively simple as. only that they are more approachable than loose-ended questions that imply one's nature is marred by some non-definable affliction called failure. to restate them in forms that will allow for concrete. there is no answer to it. “Why did I fail advanced calculus?” I do not say that questions about one's dead marriage or lost job are easy ones. "Who is the best President that America has ever had?" is the sort of commonplace. as an instrument for discovering “facts”. one may well be deceived into trying to answer it. unfortunately. Of course. The conversation between Stupid Talk and Sensible Talk usually goes something like this: Stupid Talk: Who's the best President we ever had? Sensible Talk: What do you mean by "best"? Stupid Talk: What do you mean "What do I mean?"? Best means "the best." Sensible Talk: "Tops" in what respect? Most votes? Least criticised? Most wellread? Richest? Stupid Talk: What do those things have to do with it? I mean "the best" – all around. and how many “successes” have you had? What needs to be done with such questions is to “operationalise” them." "tops. questions of this type are not confined to one's personal relationship to the cosmos but are also used. It is characteristic of the talk of troubled people that they will resist bringing their questions down to a level of answerability. If fanaticism is falling in love with an irrefutable answer. completely unanswerable question which results in no knowledge at all. when and where have you experienced it. then a neurosis is falling in love with an unanswerable question. in fact. As it stands.
etc.? As with either-or questions. the form of these questions limits our search for answers and therefore impoverishes our perceptions. For example. to get a "fix" on someone. so to speak. when questions are put in either-or terms. and the result. "To what extent will English be harmed (impoverished. In particular. But if the question was asked to start a serious conversation. many questions seem almost naturally to imply either-or alternatives.? What is the result of. resulting in the development and expression of informed opinion. fast of slow. "Will America Be the Death of English?" The form of the question demands either a yes or a no for its answer. But. But to the Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . The question as originally posed will not produce a discussable answer…. Sensible Talk is simply being obnoxious or has misunderstood the purpose of the semantic environment he is in.these are some questions which insinuate that a position must be taken. "This is bad." which is to say that it encourages us to talk about the world in polarities. of sentences. they do not ask that thought be given." She's dumb. For example. "Is he rich?" (as against "poor"). surprisingly and unfortunately. A similar structural problem in our questions is that we are apt to use singular forms instead of plural ones. "Is she smart?" (as against "dumb")." "He's poor. Naturally. they will tend to call forth an either-or answer. (Newman. then the names of my characters must stand as they are. If that was his intention. "To what extent" or "In what manner" invite a more detailed.? What is the reason for. "Is that good?" (as against "bad"). or results. "Is it this or that?" The latter divide the universe into two possibilities. question-words that are vague. then. Questions which ask. the former allow one to consider the multiple possibilities inherent in a problem. and yet the form in which we habitually ask some of our most important questions tends to discourage our thinking about it: What is the reason we do not get along? What is the cause of your overeating? What will be the effect of school integration? What is the problem that we face? I do not say that a question of this sort rules out the possibility of our widening our inquiries... in question-asking language may be stated in this way: The type of words used in a question will determine the type of words used in the answer.59 Now. or grammatical properties. We are not looking for causes.) Had the question been phrased as. says yes. reasons. the reason. in Edwin Newman's popular book. in that he may have asked the question only in order to get some diversion at a rather dull party. subjective. but for the cause. "Is America an imperial power?" "Have we lost our faith in democracy?" "Are our taxes too high?" -.. A second problem arises from certain structural characteristics. he asks in his subtitle. then you should reverse the names of the characters in my scene. What is the cause of.. or at least the possibility of one. since the questioner is merely seeking some handy label.. by the way. smart of dumb. rich of poor. a much more serious book.) by Americans?" you would have had a very boring subtitle but. and not rooted in any verifiable reality will produce their own kind in the answer. in my opinion. Strictly Speaking. so far as I could tell. We are inclined to think of things in terms of their singular opposites rather than as part of a continuum of multiple alternatives. The English language is heavily biased toward "either-or-ness." etc. and so on. diminished. and for no particular reason. qualified look at a problem than questions which ask. The first problem. Black makes us think of white. There are many situations in which such an emphatic answer is all that is necessary. and so on. this form of question is also used in situations where one would expect a more serious and comprehensive approach to a subject. The idea of multiple causality is certainly not unfamiliar. it is possible I am being unfair to Stupid Talk here..
there lurks at least one assumption which may slip by if we are not accustomed to looking for it. I mean a belief that is not subject to scrutiny because it is so deeply embedded in the question that we are hardly even aware of its presence. Given the rather bumbling. to everyone's relief. assumes the existence of a white power structure. but without knowing it. "to help Earth people develop an effective World Organisation. I do not say that these assumptions are untenable. the assumptions that underlie it. of course. I should want the term carefully defined before listening to a discussion of when "it" will be achieved." that a country can have one. the teacher may be asking himself. Perhaps the two most famous assumption-riddled questions are. that America once did. which I have recently heard discussed on television: Why is America losing its moral direction? When will we achieve equality of opportunity? How does the white power structure operate? The first question assumes that there is such a thing as a "moral direction. of course. that is to say.60 extent that we allow the form of such questions to go unchallenged. "How can I get the students to learn this?" But it is almost certain that the students are asking. This is equally true of the third source of problems in question-asking language. although I would like to hear it defended.all extremely arguable assumptions in my opinion. By an assumption." The fourth source of difficulty in question-asking language is that two people in the same semantic environment may ask different questions about a situation. I have. and this in itself Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . once you start discussing these assumptions. that it is worth achieving. For example. and. "How can I get a good grade in this course?" Naturally. My favourite invitation to never-never land. In fact. Have you stopped beating your wife? and How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? But in almost every question. in some sense. Unless we are paying very close attention. The second question assumes that there is such a thing as equality of opportunity. we are in danger of producing shallow and unnecessarily restricted answers. one is free to give it almost any meaning that suits one's purpose in a given situation. namely. but each one of them is surely worth inquiring into before proceeding to the question. haphazard ways of American business and government. "Why do you think the extraterrestrials are coming in such large numbers to Earth?" You might expect that a person who would ask such a question also would have an answer to it – which was. that it is. not unlike the legal term " reasonable and prudent man". "achievable" by society. There are many situations where it is well understood that different "roles" are required to ask different questions. two different questions will generate two different approaches to the situation and may be the source of great frustration for everyone concerned. Consider. we can be led into accepting as fact the most precarious and even preposterous ideas. I am inclined to be at least suspicious of this assumption. you may never get back to the original question. such questions as these. as well as mechanisms through which it operates. The point is that if you proceed to answer questions without reviewing the assumptions implicit in them. long suspected that the phrase "equality of opportunity" is a kind of semantic fiction. In any case. and that some effort is being made to achieve it -. and may even find it has disappeared. incidentally. The third question. you will be happy to know. was extended to me by a young woman who asked. for example. you may end up in never-never land without quite knowing how you got there. in a classroom. that we are presently losing it. for instance.
Postman states that there are at least four important reasons why the language of asking questions causes problems for people. “How can I have my baby safely and with no unnecessary pain?” The doctor is asking. The wife was asking. "Have you stopped beating your wife?" and "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" 7. "Will America Be the Death of English?" 6.61 is not necessarily a source of trouble. According to Postman. In what way is the English language biased toward speaking of the world in polarities? 5. Finally. 2. Is the title of the essay appropriate? Explain your answer. who has asked himself. as viewed by the author? 9. "How can I get this car at the lowest possible price?" Since the buyer knows that the dealer cannot possibly be interested in this question. that used-car salesmen have such low credibility is that they are inclined to pretend that they are asking the same question as the potential car buyer. In addition to the four kinds of questions dealt with by Neil Postman. "How can we have a good time?" The husband was asking. I have recently heard of a situation where a family vacation was marred because. In business transactions. But they do have considerable potential for confusion if we are ignorant of their existence. “How can we cut our staff?" The second. wife and husband were seeking answers to two quite different questions. for instance. a pregnant woman and her obstetrician: The woman is asking. What questions-asking problem does the anecdote concerning Lithuania illustrate? 4. “How can this baby get born in time for me to have a full two-week vacation?” I do not say that different questions are always incompatible in such situations. Questions for Discussion 1. buyers and sellers are almost always asking different questions. what is the weakness in the subtitle of Edwin Newman's book. their solutions moved in different directions. "How can I make sure this man makes the largest possible profit from this sale?" (the reason. incidentally. What is the function of questions that people ask. Do you agree with the thesis of the essay? Give your reasons for agreement or disagreement. "How can we increase our income?” Naturally. he is rightfully suspicious. List them. Why is it important to review the assumptions in questions before answering them? 8. Exploring Ideas 1. can you give examples of your own? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . namely. “How can we get through this without spending too much money?” Two administrators who were trying to avoid bankruptcy provide another example: The first was asking. What does the author mean by “operationalising” questions? 2. 3. I have never heard of a buyer. Strictly Speaking. What is wrong with the questions. without their knowing it. for example. That is inherent in their situation.) But in situations where it is assumed that different people will be asking roughly the same question – and they are not – we are faced with problems that are sometimes hard to discern.
as Postman says. that are "at such a high level of abstraction that we cannot answer them at all?" Can you give any examples? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . how could the order be improved? 4. What is your opinion of the order in which the author presented the essay? Is it effective? If not.62 3. How important is it to learn to ask good questions? to find good answers to other people's questions? Support your answers with illustrations. 5. Have you ever had to deal with questions.
I was the "slow learner" who needed a year and a half of special attention. I had been almost always surrounded by the sounds of my family's Spanish. (The nun remarked in a friendly. California. As an adult. Richard Rodriguez grew up in a home in which Spanish was the first language. which he calls his "public" language. All three of us were directed to daily tutoring sessions. Copyright (C) 1980 10 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . not just to me”. Those educators who tell me such things. waiting for the bell to go home. They are proponents of bilingual schooling. But I couldn't believe her. anglicising it as Rich-heard Road-ree-guess.63 RICHARD RODRIGUEZ' Born in 1944 in San Francisco. Rodriguez currently lives in San Francisco. however.) In school.) The teacher quizzed: Why do we use that word in this sentence? Could I think of a better word to use there? Would the sentence change its meaning if the words were differently arranged? And wasn't there a much better way of saying the same thing? I could not say. As a child. Nor do they understand the kind of dilemma I faced when I started my schooling. that remarkable innovation – the latest scheme – to improve education. (Grammar school. meant just what they said. that my earliest teachers never encouraged me to speak Spanish. moreover. dazed. An Education in Language 10 Some educationists have recently told me that I received a very bad education. a disgrace.the right -. Classroom words were used in ways very different from family words. The teacher in the (Catholic) school I attended kept calling out my name. Eventually my teachers connected my silence with the difficult progress my older brother and sister were making. Silent. which kept me safely at home and made me a stranger in public. Richard. he attended Stanford University in California and Columbia University in New York. ЭSpeak up. consequently. I also needed my teachers to keep my attention from straying in class by calling out. following which he did graduate work at the Warburg Institute in London and the University of California at Berkeley. (Until I was nearly seven years old. but oddly theatrical voice. A socially disadvantaged child. "my family language." when I entered the classroom. “Richard!” And From STATE OF THE LANGUAGE edited by Leonard Michael' and Christopher Ricky. Best known as a writer and lecturer. like millions of Americans he learned English as his second language. I could not believe that English concerned me. I desperately needed to be taught that I had the obligation -. They think it is a shame. Rodriguez experienced an of times painful struggle to master English. they were directed to a general audience. I would not respond. diffident. do not understand very much about the nature of classroom language. telling me with her sounds that I had a public identity.to speak public language.) Classroom words. I was initially terrified by the language of gringos. And tell it to the entire class.
I stayed after school “to help” . In that moment of trivial misunderstanding and profound insight I felt my throat twisted by a grief I didn't sound as I left the room. I resisted parental pleas to "save lights" by staying in the kitchen to work. “Just the usual things. Withheld from my parents was any mention of what happened at school. my greatest academic success: I raised my hand in the classroom and volunteered an answer and did not think it remarkable that the entire class understood. I would just barely respond. I began imitating their accents. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . when I entered a room where my mother and father were talking.) My brothers and I didn't rush home after school. It was their encouragement that mattered to me. she’d ask. Their most casual opinions I adopted. As often as possible. or saying. Only then did it happen. Sadly I would listen as my mother or father tried unsuccessfully (laughing self-consciously) to help my brothers with homework assignments. Even our parents grew easier in public. en inglés”.) After dinner.to get their attention. I flaunted my second-grade knowledge as a kind of punishment. Increasingly successful in class. I read and then waited for them to tell me which books I enjoyed. increasingly angry. We remained a loving family – enormously different. in English. ma”. I was not even sure if my father was saying the Spanish word. gringo. (Silence. following the Americanisation of their children. I kept so much. but the word was no longer charged with bitterness and suspicion. Each book they told me to read. (No longer so desperate for the consolation of intimacy. My mother started referring to neighbours by name. ("Two negatives make a positive!") But this anger was spent after several months. But this great public success was measured at home by a feeling of loss. so often to myself. In late afternoon. Our house was no longer noisy. Memory caressed each word of their praise so that compliments teachers paid me in grammar school classes come quickly to mind even today. since they had encouraged our classroom success. Her head just above mine. there was this silence. I would come home a troubled son.) Again and again in the weeks following. And for that I blamed my mother and father. I trusted their every direction. my mother would come up behind me while I read. No longer were we as close as we had earlier been. replaced by a feeling of guilt as school became more and more important to me. “What are you reading?” Or: “Tell me about all your new courses”. Silence! Instead of the intimate sounds which had once flowed between us. I did not realise that they were speaking in Spanish until the moment they saw me they abruptly started speaking English. I would rush off to a bedroom with papers and books.64 most of all I needed to hear my parents speak English at home – as my teachers had urged them to do. my teachers’ achievement. My father continued to speak about gringos. pushed me away. I would hear my parents uniting to urge. The gringo sounds they uttered (had previously spoken only to strangers) startled me. But I had no place to escape to with Spanish. in the midst of preparing our dinner. (My brothers were speaking English in another part of the house. “Speak to us now. My teachers became the new figures of authority in my life. That day I moved very far from the disadvantaged child I had been only weeks before. gringo. Hearing it sometimes. The scene was inevitable: one Saturday morning. aware that education was making me different from my parents. her breath scented with food.
) "We are proud of all our children. a need for my mother's embrace. I grew resentful. when her sisters put on uniforms. On her own. only a typist. As a girl. The old ambition of her youth was still bright then. I was a fourth-grade student when my mother asked me one day for a “nice” book to read. she chose a bright-coloured dress. My mother typed (the wrong word. It saddened my mother to learn of relatives who forced their children to start working right after high school. after all. (“A knowledge of Spanish required”. I’d smile shyly. correctly): “gorillas”. I chose Willa Cather’s My Antonia." she would say. On the dictating tape there was reference to urban guerrillas. (“Something not too hard which you think I might like”. she became an excellent speller of words she mispronounced. My teacher's words were edged sharp and clean. never betraying my sense of the irony. Always I knew my parents wanted for my brothers and me the chances they had never had. To her children she would say. And did not need o say more than that her co-workers would not let her answer the phones. They returned her to her previous job. numbered and secured by examinations. A typing job – part of the governor’s staff. my mother once more got an office job. though a very fast typist. Protective.” People began to say that to me about the time I was in sixth grade. And an excellent speller. Until one day she saw mentioned something about an “anti-poverty agency”. and grew nervous only when the job was suddenly hers. I admired her until I sensed that she was condescending to them. She would go no further. That feeling passed by the time I had taken the novel back to my room.) The years of young womanhood passed and her typing speed increased. I heard my father speak to a teacher and felt ashamed of his accent. ("And I've never been to college. They quickly responded. “Why did not you tell me about the award?” my mother scolded – although her face was softened by pride. The mistake horrified the anti-poverty bureaucrats.) Carefully. I slipped out of the house. “Get all the education you can”. Regularly she consulted bulletin boards for news of openings. she had been awarded a high school diploma by teachers too careless or busy to notice that she hardly spoke English. new to America." They laughed. One day there was a letter to be sent to a Washington cabinet officer. You both must be so proud of him. further advancements." she said. That skill got her clean office jobs in “letter shops” and nurtured her optimism about the possibility of advancement. In schooling she recognised the key to job advancement. So she willed her ambition to her children. “Everyone comes to work all dressed up. smiling when her children asked her to spell a word they didn't want to look up in a dictionary. Also. She was.) After her youngest child began high school.65 Nights when relatives visited and the front room was warmed by familiar Spanish sounds. She worked for the (California) state government in civil service positions. she determined to learn how to type. several days later. I happened to see it next to her bed. I tried to move my parents away. “Your parents must be so proud of you…. (Each morning. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . I felt a surge of sorrow." Then this afterthought: "They sure didn't get their brains from us. several days later.” – she reported at night. (They were proud. At the grammar school ceremony.) Without hesitation she applied. When. unread except for the first several pages. Then guilty for the shame.
He did not go to the opera.) Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . And then suddenly everything was different. “You’ll never know what real work is”. And how they used to watch polo matches on Sundays. except that fatigue worked its way into the bone.) From boyhood to manhood. (After I introduced him to some of my high school friends he remarked that their hands were soft. not scornful so much as bemused. while my mother went inside.) “College!” he snarled. The only thing he regularly said to me was that school work wasn't real work. He said that he liked to go to doctors' offices and see their certificates on the wall. And that pleased her. he was orphaned when he was eight. my father never openly encouraged the academic success of his children. My father found my high school diploma as it was about to be thrown out with the trash. my father seems old. In almost my earliest memories of him. (“You’ll never know what real work is…”) It was my father who became angry when watching on television a Miss America contestant tell the announcer that she was going to college. He had great expectations of becoming an engineer. and cannery jobs. in frustration. asleep. his head thrown back in a hideous grin. he put it away with his own things for safekeeping. He knew a Catholic priest who had promised money to enable him to study fulltime for a high school diploma." When I was a freshman in high school. in his first American years. there was a dark succession of warehouse. unsmiling. I admitted to her one day that I planned to become a teacher. for my father education implied an even more startling possibility: escape from the workaday world. factory. to possess their authority and their confidence. he left for America. My awards from school got left at home in closets and drawers. he would laugh. It was also my father who wondered why I didn't display my awards in my bedroom. "With education you can do anything." she would repeatedly say. But the promises came to nothing. two passed. In Mexico. the evening newspaper spread out before him. He gave away his fancy clothes. Instead. he would say smiling. He despised the trivialisation of higher education. Those times when I claimed to be tired by writing and reading. (“We are proud of all our children”. Whereas my mother saw in education the opportunity for job advancement. Though I never explained that it was not the occupation of teaching I yearned for as much as something more elusive and indefinite: I wanted to know what my teachers knew. My mother remembers how he used to spend a week's salary then at the San Francisco opera on Saturday nights. Without telling me. he went to school with my mother. on the sofa. the inflated grades and cheapened diplomas. dressed in a dandy's wardrobe. Nothing much changed. on the steps of the night school. the half-education that increasingly passed for mass education in my generation.66 "Get all the education you can. Nights. In contrast to my mother. Eighteen years later. A year. (He has never grown old gradually like my mother. Nor did he praise us. At eight (my age when I achieved my first academic success) my father had to leave school to work for his uncle. I have remembered him most powerfully in a single image: seated. And he stayed outside. There survive photos of him.) His hands were calloused by a lifetime of work. (“Majoring in fine arts”.
I was the first in the family who asked to leave home. (My father never asked. They oddly measured my progress. they toyed with our parents' opinions. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . she demanded to know. because at home I would hear myself simplify my diction and syntax when addressing my parents. More acute was her complaint that the family wasn't as close as some of our relatives. in the car. Year after year. Once considered a “slow learner” in English. Find other examples of irony in the essay such as remarks. Rodriguez is now an accomplished writer in his second language – an ironic but true fact. Questions for Discussion 1.) When the time came to go to college. But it was too stark a reminder. as high school students. Describe Rodriguez’s changing attitude toward his parents. I heard the question my mother never asked except indirectly. I did not join my brothers when. My departure only made physically apparent the separation that had occurred long before. Often I realised that my command of English was improving. How did Rodriguez’s academic success (and those of his brother) affect the close relationship of the family? 3. tired at the end of the workday. there was a rush to get everything ready. “Why do you have to put us through this big expense? You know your scholarship will never cover it all”. she wondered. although there were time when my mother complained that our “big ideas” were going to our heads. My mother and father would usually submit with sudden silence. “Why do you need to go so far away?” Late one night ironing. But when September came. In a bedroom that last night.67 The separation which slowly unraveled (so long) between my parents and me was not the much-discussed “generation gap” caused by the tension of youth and experience. advancing in my studies. she said with disgust. It was toward me that she most often would glance when she mimicked the “yes” and “no” answers she got in response to her questions. (I never said. “Why are not the colleges around here good enough for you? They were for your brother and sister”. What differences does the author see between “classroom words” and ”family words? 2. What role did teachers begin to play in the author’s life? 5. In the hot kitchen. My mother sat nearby sewing my initials onto the clothes I would take. never turning to face me. for example. In the months preceding my departure. incidents. For what reason does Rodriguez tell the story of his mother’s job as a typist? How does the account add to the effectiveness of the “theme” of the essay? 6. And she said nothing more about my leaving. Exploring of Ideas 1. Another time. 4. she wondered. I packed the brown valise. but in a very odd way. Age figured in our separation. devastating them frequently with superior logic and factual information.) Why was everyone “so secret”. I would notice that my parents had not changed as much as I. Do you think the title of the essay is accurate? Explain your answer. How do you interpret the incident recounted in paragraph 11? 2. Too deeply troubled. or situations.
Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Do you think Rodriguez regrets the effects of his mastery of English upon the “loving relation” that existed in his family? Give your reasons. did you have problems? Were there any similarities with those that Rodriguez had? 5. 4.68 3. In your own experience in learning English. Refer to paragraph 23. how? 6. Have you experienced anything similar with your own parents? How do you account for it? How has it affected your relations with others in your family? Optional Activity Write a personal essay concerning your own family (or friends) and the impact of your increasing fluency in a foreign language upon your relationship with them. In your own language or in English. do you use language to show what kind of person you are or to control difficult situations? If so.
It belongs to me. “Okay. A couple of his fellow cavemen may have kicked sand in his face. are related to a person's feelings of insecurity over individual identity. author Ryan offers the argument that the idea of owning property. of course. All Mine 11 How do you get to own something? Well. property. if property at all. Mine. you guys! Everything inside this line is mine. But how did the fellow you bought it from get to own it? Where did the idea of owning come from? Or was it always there. 11 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . From EQUALITY by William Ryan. kidding him about his intellectual pretensions. instead of loot from the seizure. little. led first to emulation. well respected caveman who carried a big club picked up Herman's notion. a division of Random House. And that is the central nature of ideology. seized with a fit of entrepreneurial passion. In “Mine. The idea of owning and property emerged in the mists of unrecorded history. then property laws by the chapter.69 WILLIAM RYAX Born in 1923. Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Books. we had landowners and the landless. and finally the revelation that the institution of private property had been ordained by God. ver likely. Now. unquestioned and unquestionable ideas. took his club and drew a line in the earth and called out. this first would-be landowner was a skinny. as we all know. his ways of using big words like “be-long” and “own” that nobody else knew the meaning of. as well as the accumulation of great wealth. I own it”. Rather than having men who had the muscle power to seize and men who had not. The forcible seizure of what had been until then common property. nearsighted Cro-Magnon who could not throw a spear straight and was able to drag by the hair only the homeliest girls of the tribe. All Mine”. Copyright (C) 1981 by William Ryan. which we take for granted and do not give another thought. a good idea never dies. Others drew their lines. William Ryan is currently a professor of psychology at Boston College in Massachusetts. taking possession of the land merely by outlining its boundaries. and made his claim stick.became common currency. another telling of the story might assume more malevolence and end with their rubbing out Herman himself. These concepts – landowner. and sooner or later a hefty. and then talked about what they owned and what belonged to them. which is from his book Equality (1981).) But. (I am counting on a fair amount of good humour among the Cro-Magnons. and ultimately to the development of ideas and relationships that could be thought to coincide with the new reality. and property rights -. His special interest is in the psychological stresses of modern American life. drew his own line in the earth. perhaps in the mind of God? No one really knows. “That Herman! A regular walking dictionary!” And they rubbed out Herman’s line on the ground. Inc. as natural and expected as the sunrise or as water flowing downhill. as others also seized portions of land. but most of the others probably laughed indulgently. you usually buy it. we had “property”. Some Cro-Magnon innovator. One can try to imagine the scene.
He owns those things. But behind all these claims. “I own this land. when the land reverted to the family that originally possessed it. Mosaic law with respect to ownership of land (the only significant productive property of the time) is unambiguous: And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity. it shall be a jubilee unto you. occupying a blip on the screen of time. for one. The buying and selling of land was based on principles very different from those we know. had a very different outlook on property and ownership. supporting and upholding them – and our willingness to believe them – is the big club of the hefty Cro-Magnon who made the first claim and dared his fellows to oppose him. but rather the right to use the land to cultivate crops.70 If you do stop and think about it. for ye are strangers and settlers with Me. so it must be true. they belong to him. till there be no place. has the incredible gall to stand up and say. The price of the land was determined by the number of years. Prophet after prophet condemned as violations efforts to accumulate wealth unjustly: Woe unto them that join house to house. that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! But that the law was violated and the violation condemned is a demonstration of its existence and applicability. buying land is similar to the process we call leasing. in fact. Under such a law. it is quite remarkable. The ancient Jews. but the principle remains the same. He lays claim to the oil and the iron that lie beneath the ground and then to the steel made from the iron and to the automobile made from the steel and to the gasoline made from the oil. and therefore the number of crops. remaining until the next jubilee year. The club is smaller and neater now. He counts as his property the tree that grows on the land and the wood of the tree and the buildings on the land made from the wood. he says. Is it possible that the ideas we have today about ownership and property rights have been so universal in the human mind that it is truly as if they had sprung from the mind of God? By no means. that lay field to field. and ye shall return every man unto his family. he also says that he owns what comes out of it and what is buried beneath it. It was not. viewing it as something much more temporary and tentative than we do. There is no doubt that these laws were violated. a piece of the planet! And he says it is his! Isn't that really an incredible claim to make? And he does not just say he owns the earth. for simultaneously restoring liberty and equality for all: And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year. the land itself that changed hands. and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. The institution of the jubilee year was a specific mechanism for rectifying the in equities that had accumulated. And we all act as if it were true. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . An individual human being. for the land is Mine. The owner of the land lays claim to the grain and the grass that spring up from it and to the cattle that feed on the grain and the grass. Although the law of jubilee was evaded more and more and ultimately fell into disuse. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. He’s talking about an acre or a hundred acres of the earth. hanging from the belt of the policeman. and ye shall return every man unto his possession. there can be no doubt that it was adhered to for many generations. this land is mine”.
some of the early radical workingmen's movements made [an ownership] claim on those very grounds. that house. “That – that right there – is the fruit of my labour”. some individual. In fact. this land will be here to give life to man and animals. It seems not at all strange. or if I make something useful out of natural material. too. that tower of wheat. The Indians eventually learned to their sorrow that it was no eccentricity. how would we function? What would the rules be? How would we know how to act? Whom would we buy from and how would we sell? It is important to acknowledge a significant difference between achieving ownership simply by taking or claiming property and owning what we tend to call the “fruit of labour”. as the new commercial classes began to impose their own view of private property as something with which one could do more or less what one pleased. Europeans invented a new method of earning riches. alone or together with my family. and they came to America and claimed the land . Hardly anyone would dispute that. were frequently evaded and violated – perhaps more often than they were honoured – but they were unquestionably part of the structure of law and custom until the dawn of the modern era. are my property. are by no means universal and must be viewed as an invention of man rather than a decree of God. Of course. didn't own that plot of land. In modern times. we are completely trained to accept the idea of ownership of the earth and its products. If someone. therefore we cannot sell this land. perhaps of divine origin.on the grounds that they had never seen it before – and then went through the arduous labour of possessing by bounding. it seems reasonable and fair to claim that the crops or the objects belong to me or my family. that of “discovery”. at first incomprehensible and then irk somely eccentric. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . we have the example of socialist countries where private ownership of any significant amount of property that constitutes “means of production” is prohibited as antisocial and antihuman. So. it is quite difficult to imagine a society without such arrangements. Their thinking was expressed eloquently by a Blackfeet chief: As long as the sun shines and the waters flow. These restrictions and obligations. at least in the sense that I have first claim on them.71 Similarly. but rather a murderous mania. raw and transformed. the tenure of land in the agrarian feudal ages was hedged all about with restrictions and accompanied by specific obligations that the landowner owed to his tenants. The Europeans' peculiar ideas about individuals' claiming exclusive ownership of specific portions of God's earth seemed strange. the land was not subject to “ownership” by individuals. If I. that machine. A bit later. To most of the Native American tribes. work on the land and raise crops. when the very idea of land began to change and when land began to be equated with capital. It must be clear that in modern society the social heritage of knowledge and technology and the social organisation of manufacture and exchange account for far more of the productivity of industry and the value of what is produced than can be accounted for by the labour of any number of individuals. such issues became vastly more intricate. of course. We cannot sell the lives of men and animals. that factory. Hardly any person can now point and say. in fact. the ideas we have in America (and in the majority of the world's nations) about the private ownership of productive property as a natural and universal right of mankind. however. It was put here by the Great Spirit and we cannot sell it because it does not belong to us. As industrial organisation became more complex.
It is only by saying – louder and louder. not only of fish. What was the attitude of North American Indian tribes toward land ownership? How did Europeans circumvent the thinking of the Indians? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . The idea of owning the air and the seas seems as incomprehensible to us as the idea of owning his own factory must seem to a Russian (although we are beginning to see a rapidly growing interest in extending the idea of ownership to these elements. over and over again – “I! I! I!” that we can then get away with saying “my” and “mine”." Hardly anyone would agree with him or honour his claim. We cannot readily imagine buying a piece of air or seeking a mortgage on a segment of ocean. to mystify it. as a nation – as a world. How did ownership of land function during the agrarian feudal ages? 5. when the man who bought the land. particularly as the oceans come to be seen more clearly as a means of production. really – that what is produced is the fruit of our labour. This water and the fish therein and the plankton and the salt and the seaweed belong to me. the product of the whole society as a collectivity…. the idea of private property and ownership of pieces of the earth is still pretty much limited to that portion of the earth that is actually land. but of other food. To what extent does the author’s use of the anecdote about cavemen help to illustrate the origin of private property? Is it oversimplification? 2. no matter how much he might talk about the divine rights of man to own the ocean. How did the Mosaic law treat the ownership of land? 4. According to paragraph 5. "These waves are mine. to clothe it in myths. We have to recognise that the right of private individual ownership of property is man-made and constantly dependent on the extent to which those without property believe that the owner can make his claim stick. Yet we ignore this evident reality. and west and then proclaiming to whoever might listen. Questions for Discussion 1. as a society. that individual. Even the workmen. east. It has become his property. upon what does the principle of ownership rest? 3. We would have a similar feeling if we watched someone sailing out into the Atlantic and marking out a line of buoys to the north. the nails. So. the lumber.72 We can say. and perhaps of minerals). One way of making the claim stick is to remove it from the realm of human agreements. I own this piece of ocean. though their experience makes them aware of it. now is the rightful owner of that house. and the wire comes around at the end and gives them each a check for the “value of their labour” – and then even has the chutzpah to bestow upon himself the title “builder” – no one doubts that he. of oil. have no way of thinking and talking about it. No one man could conceivably build a house with only twelve times the amount of time and effort that twelve men expend in building the same house. of which the most important with respect to the so-called right of private ownership of social product and the things that make this product possible is the myth of the lone “supernormal” individual. The water is mine and the fullness thereof. With all of this distortion and overemphasis on individual action. south.
How do you react to author Ryan's explanations of the concept of ownership of property? What are your own beliefs in this regard? 2. Ryan says in paragraph 12: “It must be clear that in modern society the social heritage of knowledge and technology and the social organisation of manufacture and exchange account for far more of the productivity of industry and the value of what is produced than can be accounted for by the labour of any number of individuals”. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . How does the author differentiate between ownership of property and ownership of the “fruits of labour”? 7. How would you deal with the matter of private ownership of property and of the “fruits of labour”? Write an essay of 300-500 words setting forth your plan or design. 8. What is the main means by which modern society supports the concept of private ownership of property? Is it different from concepts in the past? Exploring Ideas 1. Discuss what the author says in paragraph 16. Is it a totally true statement? Optional Activity Imagine that you have been appointed to design a perfect or utopian society.73 6. Express Ryan’s thought in your own words to make the sentence easier to understand.
as we are no longer in need of an extensive country. our untimely decay. bought two million acres of land from the Indians.. My words are like the stars that never change. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Thus it was when the white men first began to push our forefathers further westward. for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect.I presume -. Chief Seattle did not agree wholeheartedly to the honour since he believed that after his death. and disfigure their faces with black paint. nor mourn over. his spirit would be disturbed every time his name was mentioned. The great. even at the cost of their own lives. and mothers who have sons to lose. Whatever Seattle says the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons. From the beginning.74 CHIEF SEATTLE Seattle was chief of the Suquamish Indians and leader of other tribes in the area around Puget Sound in Washington State. Today is fair. The following is Seattle’s reply to Governor Stevens’s offer to the purchase of the two million acres of Indian land. That is kind of him for we know he has little need of friendship in return. may change. Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong. This indeed appears just. and -. The White Chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies. nor reproach our paleface brothers with hastening it.. he was a loyal friend of the white settlers who began coming to the region in the early 1800-ies in increasing numbers. My People Yonder sky that has wept tears upon my people for centuries untold. but old men who stay at home in times of war. Isaac Stevens. Although the city of Seattle was named for him. Thus it has ever been. Note the prophetic nature of Seattle’s words as he foresaw the eventual absorption of the entire continent by white settlers and the decline and disappearance of many Indian cultures. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. His people are many. as we too may have been somewhat to blame. My people are few. know better.. it denotes that their hearts are black. and which to us appears changeless and eternal. and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. The area was organised as the Washington Territory in 1853. I will not dwell on. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain.. Tomorrow may be overcast with clouds.good. Revenge by young men is considered gain. and the following year the governor of the territory. even generous. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our lands but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably. and the offer may be wise also. and then they are often cruel and relentless.
No. seems also to have forsaken us. your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them.' and it is written in the hearts of our people. The Red Man could never comprehend nor remember it. Your religion was written upon tables of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. They are soon forgotten and never return. Day and night cannot dwell together. given them in solemn hours of night by the Great Spirit. for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness. Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and nation follows nation. for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend with friend. and regret is useless. It is the order of nature. Then in reality will he be our father and we his children. sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. like the waves of the sea. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -.and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes. a few more winters -. will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. but it will surely come. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength. Then we will dwell apart in peace. Our God.. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man. Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander way beyond the stars. I say.75 Our good father at Washington – for I presume he is now our father as well as yours. To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common heavenly father He must be partial – for He came to his paleface children. and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbours so that our ancient enemies far to the northward – the Hydas and Tsimpsians – will cease to frighten our women. We never saw Him. A few more moons. as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. However. protected by the Great Spirit. He gave you laws but He had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. Soon they will fill the land.the dreams of our old men. the Great Spirit. We will see. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. We may be brothers after all. and old men. They will not be many. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine. Your time of decay may be distant. He folds his strong and protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads his infant son – but He has forsaken His red children – if they really are his.and the visions of our sachems. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. Your God makes your people wax strong every day. It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. There is little in common between us. Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. since King George has moved his boundaries further north – our great good father. children. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe. cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
or in the silence of the pathless woods. these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe. But should we accept it. Even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. (simile) Find other examples of similes. upon the highway.. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people. metaphors. and when we decide we will let you know.. For you. the President of the United States. Exploring Ideas 1.. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. And when the last Red Man shall have perished. I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors. 4.76 We will ponder your proposition. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted.. they will not be alone. metaphors. and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field.. The White Man will never be alone. What conditions does Chief Seattle set forth before the Indians will relinquish their land? 3. Upon what areas of his knowledge does Chief Seattle draw to form these figures of speech. analogies. for the dead are not powerless. What aspects of the speech seem to be prophetic as later historical events came to demonstrate? 3. the store. friends and children. only a change of worlds.. Describe Seattle’s attitude toward the white men. Questions for Discussion 1. or analogies. To what differences between the white man and the red man does Seattle refer? 8. How is the white man's god different from the Indians' god? 6. has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Every hillside. the shop. what is the most powerful part of the speech? Why? 2. Example: My words are like the stars that never change. What are the purposes of Chief Seattle’s speech? 2. The speech is rich in figurative language: similes.. 5. every plain and grove.. every valley. How do you react to the closing paragraph of the essay? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men.. Cite examples of Chief Seattle’s wisdom. and the white man's god. they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land. did I say? There is not death. How does Chief Seattle show that he has an understanding of the ways of young men? 4. The very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than to yours. Dead. What significance is there in Chief Seattle's referring to the President as "father?" 7.
“For no good reason at all I had a hunch that…” or “I was just fooling around one day when…. The scientific paper will more likely begin: "In view of recent evidence concerning the Glockenspiel theory.77 W. the scientist is a genial. in Villanova. l 957. Pennsylvania. the word "unscientific" has almost become a synonym for "untrue.”? No sir! Seldom does a trace of anything haphazard. September 7. FURNESS THOMPSON W. anything human. results second. In his administrative position. rather humble man? By what occult power are we to recognise that his “objective evaluations” in the scientific journals are actually not magnificent infallibilities but fortunate conclusions of From the Saturday Review. or that the scientist reached certain conclusions before the results were all in. therefore these conclusions were suggested. Reprinted by permission. but you would not gather so from reading most scientific literature. Thoughtful scientists realise all this. as often happens.. how are we to divine that in the vast majority of moments when he is not writing.. Copyright (C) 1957 by Saturday Review Magazine." And the report will go on to describe a carefully thought-out experiment that followed not only a logical but also a chronological order. sensible. it seemed advisable to conduct. He was the author of numerous articles that appeared in leading American periodicals. or that accidental results determined the method. appear in published reports of research experiments. Much scientific writing not only misrepresents the workings of science but also does a disservice to scientists themselves. or that he started doing a different experiment. Scientific tradition demands that scientific papers follow that formal progression: method first. This was done.. 12 Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . and all human judgement is liable to error. He died on April 29. and French Laboratories. Words direct our lives. conclusion third. Thompson gained invaluable insights into the nature of scientific work and of scientists themselves. We hear time and again of the superiority of the “scientific method”. the method was really made up as the scientist went along. Furness Thompson served for many years as director of research for Smith. That many of them are unconscious of the effect they create does not alter the image in the popular mind. empty of foible or failing. 1979. subjective judgement. after all. Why Do not the Scientists Admit They Are Human? 12 Did you ever read a scientific paper that begins. above even mention of mistake. Kline. In fact. And if the words in which we read the scientist’s own unfolding story of his science are all cold and calculated. A pompous. By writing reports that make scientific investigations sound as unvarying and predictable as a pavan. scientists tend to promulgate the curious notion that science is infallible. or that he started out with certain conclusions." Yet the final evaluation of any set of data is an individual. The rules permit no hint that. this resulted. stilted style too often seizes the pen of the experimenter the moment he starts putting words on paper.
announced the discovery of penicillin: While working with staphylococcus variants [types of bacteria] a number of culture plates were set aside on the laboratory bench and examined from time to time. It requires no preparation except a psychological acknowledgement of the obvious fact that the present form of reporting experiments is a mental strait jacket whose very appearance is calculated to repel the imaginative young minds science so sorely needs. the true face of science becomes hidden behind what seems to the outsider to be a smug allknowing mask. Under pressure of tradition.78 persistently pursued hunches. The whole business was an accident. He could encourage his students to report facts as they see them. bit by bit. What was the mold and how did it kill? This penicillin episode is an instructive example of how wrong the popular conception of "scientific method" can be. into the earliest stage of our public-school science courses.. Fleming did not discover penicillin because he was hunting for it. Then. Dare the local schoolteacher depart from the stereotype imposed by tradition? I think he should. Paper and printing are expensive. these plates were necessarily exposed to the air and they became contaminated with various microorganisms. Even courageous men do not go out of their way to publicise their deviations from accepted procedures. Is it any wonder that in the popular literature the scientist often appears as a hybrid superman-spoiled child? No small contribution to modern culture could be the simple introduction. Let me quote from the article in the June. It would be foolish to expect every scientist to become a composite of. Pasteur and Hemingway. and unexpected observations? Editors of scientific publications are not without their reasons for the current style of scientific writing. issue of the British Journal of Experimental Pathology in which Sir Alexander Fleming. But the teacher could point out that a writing tradition which removes a portion of humanity is also liable to remove a portion of truth.. Therefore.. So. Did Fleming report anything that happened according to plan? Not unless necessary exposure to air is counted as planning. In the examination. Even after he isolated penicillin Fleming was Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . it is expedient to condense articles as much as possible. This is something that could be done immediately with the opening of classes this fall. of a natural style of writing about laboratory experiments as they really happen. including facts that convention might regard as "unscientific" and. And few scientific writers rebel against the tradition. exhaustively explored intuitions. the condensation process removes the human elements first. but it does illustrate a straightforwardness which is infrequently present in scientific writing. Their journals aren't rich. This paragraph is far from a literary masterpiece. He saw the germs on his plates being killed by an air-borne mold. therefore. He made the discovery because he was curious about something he saw. the English bacteriologist. 1929. It was noticed that around a large colony of the contaminated mold the staphylococcus colonies became transparent and were obviously undergoing lysis [dissolution]. too. out of place in a written report. say. and Fleming said so. there is an apparent objectivity and humility attached to the third person. passive voice writing technique adopted in the preparation of most scientific papers. The giants of science could serve as guides.
Apples had been falling in many places for centuries and thousands of people had seen them fall. Could the dirt have anything to do with the unexpected sweetness of that sandwich? He examined the stuff he had been handling in the Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . Mason left the place. But Newton for years had been curious about the cause of the orbital motion of the moon and the planets. He got rid of me as fast as he could. he noticed his hands were dirty. he paled. you do not have research. Unpredictability is part of the essential nature of research. He was just wondering. How many men would have considered the possibility of an apple falling up into the tree? Newton did because he was not trying to predict anything. Only those mushroom men who ignored their own traditional "method" were able to benefit the world. Ten years were to pass before the antibiotic was mass-manufactured. The wood fibers weren't merely dry.Smith.79 unable to make more than a meager quantity of it that was useful. Chairman of the National Research Council's Committee on Medical Research in this country. Sir Isaac Newton supposedly discovered gravity through the fall of an apple. Before he did so. Scientists tend to forget this when writing their cut and dried reports for the technical journals. become rich themselves. Our firm . I found out that mushroom growers plan their science on the principle that all molds are evil and should be destroyed. however. hit upon the idea of heating wood until it exploded and then using the fibers to make a good inexpensive paper. As I explained the process of growing molds and extracting penicil lin. and incidentally. a mechanical engineer. We thought a mushroom outfit might be a good place to grow the mold. Science. and French – was one of the companies Richards approached. they were baked! Mason's first reaction was to throw the fibers away. in practice. He was in a factory drying some of the fibers when a friend asked him to lunch. Much later. When he returned to the factory he discovered to his horror that the valve he thought he had closed was defective – the heat had remained on all the time he was away. He had a leisurely lunch followed by a few extra cups of coffee. In 1925 William Mason. What kept them in place? Why didn't they fall out of the sky? The fact that the apple fell down toward the earth and not up into the tree answered the question he had been asking himself about those larger fruits of the heavens. Another man made a valuable discovery because he forgot to wash his hands. The sandwich was sickeningly sweet! In reaching for a glass of water. and then the job could not be done in the discoverer's native England. depends far less on the experiments it prepares than on the preparedness of the minds of the men who watch the experiments. After turning off the steam valve that regulated the heat. took one bite and gagged. by growing penicillin. I was sent to talk to the mushroom man. persuaded United States manufacturers to go into speculative development of the drug. He found a smooth sheet not of paper but of a new very special kind of grainless wood. the moon and the planets. Alfred Newton Richards. We were interested. but history is filled with examples of it. His mind was ready for the unpredictable. he took a long close look at them. Kline. He knocked off work in a laboratory to eat a roast beef sandwich. Penicillin did not become a practical reality until Dr. If you do not have unpredictable things.
you might gather the impression that they find the “scientific method” a substitute for imaginative thought. The problems he encounters in his work are different from our problems. It is entirely reasonable for auditors to believe that scientists who know exactly where they are going and how they will get there should not be distracted by the necessity of keeping one eye on the cash register while the other eye is on the microscope. I can remember an extremely valuable senior scientist of ours who made many important contributions to our research program but who apparently did very little work. who does not always think the way most of us are thinking. I have attended research conferences where a scientist has been asked what he thinks about the advisability of continuing a certain experiment. is management to be blamed for discriminating against the “odd balls” among researchers in favour of more conventional thinkers who “work well with the team”. then it is perfectly logical for management to expect research to produce results measurable in dollars and cents. and who took privileges which were quite conspicuous. What this amounts to. and said “the data are still inconclusive”. Serendipity is the highsounding name for this kind of happy accident.80 laboratory before lunch and thereby discovered saccharin. The scientist is not necessarily smarter or more creative than the non-scientist. If experiments are planned and carried out according to plan as faithfully as the reports in the science journals indicate. who doesn't always act the way most of us are acting. He was not resented. We were worried about the effect of this man on the morale of those who worked with and for him. particularly younger ones. He was a flower fancier.who wears a Napoleon hat. he lives in a different world. of course. the scientist thinks in much the same way that the rest of us do. This imaginary person does not quite belong to the same species as other human beings. At least a large part of the non-scientist’s hostility to or fear of the scientist rises from the stereotyped idea of the scientist as a man. Actually. looked at the graphs. he thinks in a different way. “We know that”. The psychological process of creativity – Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . All of us who actually have to do with research know that the “odd ball” often is a more valuable scientist than his well-adjusted colleague. but has convinced industrial and business management that it is true. but his method of arriving at solutions is much the same as ours. The scientist has frowned. is that the scientist has become the victim of his own propaganda. they too could grow flowers in the lab or design Rube Goldberg apparatus. Nor. if regularity and conformity to a standard pattern are as desirable to the scientist as the writing of his papers would appear to reflect. The others around him realised that if they were contributing as much as he. He spent so much time growing flowers in his laboratory that it began to look like the beginning of a small greenhouse. the men from the budget office have said. “Odd ball” may be too strong a phrase. “but what do you think? Is it worthwhile going on? What do you think we might expect?" The scientist has been shocked at having even been asked to speculate. I mean the man who does not conform. In talking to some scientists. No. He has put up the infallible objective front so consistently that he not only believes it himself. But when we looked into the situation we found that our fears were groundless. I am not talking about the man who is extremely unusual . the myth that the scientist himself perpetuates.
What is the procedure for the preparation of scientific papers? 6. To what extent have you felt that scientists do “not quite belong to the same species as other human beings”? 3. will present himself as a fellow fallible human. Does this limit the effectiveness of the essay? Should he have recognised that the purposes and methods of scientific writing are different from those of a general nature? Why or why not? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays . a painting. (Paragraph 4) How is this accomplished according to the author? 5. Do you think that scientists should make a real effort to make their writings intelligible to all educated persons? 2. bit by bit. How do you interpret the expression? Do you think that it applies only to scientific thinking? 4. how does scientific writing do a disservice to scientists themselves? 3. What does the author mean in paragraph 3 when he observes: “Words direct our lives…?” 4. in writing about his work. If the scientist. Is this statement giving the central idea of the essay? 2. In paragraph 6. How does the author compare the scientist with the non-scientist regarding the process of creative thinking? Exploring Ideas 1. Questions for Discussion 1. the true face of science becomes hidden behind what seems to the outsider to be a smug all-knowing mask”. “So. 5. tolerant of his failures. a novel. he will lead us all to be receptive of his accomplishments. Should all writing include the "human" quality? Explain your answer. or a piece of sculpture – is much the same for everybody. and far less likely to demand of him more than he can possibly give. According to the author. “mental strait jacket”.81 whether a man is creating a new vaccine. the author uses the expression. Basically. What role does the preparedness of the minds of scientists play in making experiments? 7. In paragraph 5. the author states that “a writing tradition which removes a portion of humanity is also liable to remove a portion of truth”. the other for the general public. In what way has the scientist become a victim of his own propaganda? 8. the author has not admitted the need for two kinds of writing – one done for science.
Judith Viorst was born in 1936 and has established herself as an accomplished writer who has covered a wide range of topics in her profession. She is a regular contributing editor to Redbook magazine. The essay that follows first, appeared in her regular column of that magazine. The essay seems to enlarge upon an observation by the American philosopher, George Santayana, who once wrote: "Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; people are friends in spots." Ms. Viorst also writes humorous verse and books for children.
Friends, Good Friends – and Such Good Friends
Women are friends, I once would have said, when they totally love and support and trust each other, and bare to each other the secrets of their souls, and run – no questions asked – to help each other, and tell harsh truths to each other (no, you cannot wear that dress unless you lose ten pounds first) when harsh truths must be told. Women are friends, I once would have said, when they share the same affection for Ingmar Bergman, plus train rides, cats, warm rain, charades, Camus, and hate with equal ardor Newark and Brussels sprouts and Lawrence Welk and camping. In other words, I once would have said that a friend is a friend all the way, but now I believe that's a narrow point of view. For the friendships I have and the friendships I see are conducted at many levels of intensity, serve many different functions, meet different needs and range from those as all-the-way as the friendship of the soul sisters mentioned above to that of the most nonchalant and casual playmates. Consider these varieties of friendship: 1. Convenience friends. These are women with whom, if our paths were not crossing all the time, we'd have no particular reason to be friends: a next-door neighbour, a woman in our car pool, the mother of one of our children's closest friends or maybe some mommy with whom we serve juice and cookies each week at the Glenwood Co-op Nursery. Convenience friends are convenient indeed. They'll lend us their cups and silverware for a party. They'll drive our kids to soccer when we're sick. They'll take us to pick up our car when we need a lift to the garage. They will even take our cats when we go on vacation. As we will for them. But we do not, with convenience friends, ever come too close or tell too much; we maintain our public face and emotional distance. “Which means”, says Elaine, “that I will talk about being overweight but not about being depressed. Which means I will admit being mad but not blind with rage. Which means that I might say that we're pinched this month but never that I'm worried sick over money”. But which doesn't Copyright O< 1977 by Judith Viorst. Originally appeared in REDBOOK. Reprinted by permission of Leacher @ L.escher. I.td.
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mean that there isn't sufficient value to be found in these friendships of mutual aid, in convenience friends. 2. Special-interest friends. These friendships are not intimate, and they need not involve kids or silverware or cats. Their value lies in some interest jointly shared. And so we may have an office friend or a yoga friend or a tennis friend or a friend from the Women's Democratic Club. “I have got one woman friend”, says Joyce, - who likes, as I do, to take psychology courses. Which makes it nice for me – and nice for her. It is fun to go with someone you know and it is fun to discuss what you have learned, driving back from the classes”. And for the most part, she says, that's all they discuss. “I would say that what we were doing is doing together, not being together”, Suzanne says of her Tuesday-doubles friends. “It is mainly a tennis relationship, but we play together well. And I guess we all need to have a couple of playmates”. I agree. My playmate is a shopping friend, a woman of marvelous taste, a woman who knows exactly where to buy what, and furthermore is a woman who always knows beyond a doubt what one ought to be buying. I do not have the time to keep up with what's new in eyeshadow, hemlines and shoes and whether the smock look is in or finished already. But since (oh, shame!) I care a lot about eyeshadows, hemlines and shoes, and since I do not want to wear smocks if the smock look is finished, I am very glad to have a shopping friend. 3. Historical friends. We all have a friend who knew us when … maybe way back in Miss Meltzer’s second grade, when our family lived in that three-room flat in Brooklyn, when our dad was out of work for seven months, when our brother Allie got in that fight where they had to call the police, when our sister married the endodontist from Yonkers and when, the morning after we lost our virginity, she was the first, the only, friend we told. The years have gone by and we've gone separate ways and we have little in common now, but we're still an intimate part of each other's past. And so whenever we go to Detroit we always go to visit this friend of our girlhood. Who knows how we looked before our teeth were straightened. Who knows how we talked before our voice got un Brooklyned. Who knows what we ate before we learned about artichokes. And who, by her presence, puts us in touch with an earlier part of ourself, a part of ourself it is important never to lose. “What this friend means to me and what I mean to her”, says Grace, – is having a sister without sibling rivalry. We know the texture of each other's lives. She remembers my grandmother's cabbage soup. I remember the way her uncle played the piano. There is simply no other friend who remembers those things." 4. Crossroads friends. Like historical friends, our crossroads friends are important for what was – for the friendship we share at a crucial, now past, time of life. A time, perhaps, when we roomed in college together; or worked as eager young singles in the Big City together; or went together, as my friend Elizabeth and I did, through pregnancy, birth and that scary first year of new motherhood.
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Crossroads friends forge powerful links, links strong enough to endure with not much more contact than once-a-year letters at Christmas. And out of respect for those crossroads years, for those dramas and dreams we once shared, we will always be friends. 5. Cross-generational friends. Historical friends and crossroads friends seem to maintain a special kind of intimacy – dormant but always ready to be revived – and though we may rarely meet, whenever we do connect, it is personal and intense. Another kind of intimacy exists in the friendships that form across generations in what one woman calls her daughter-mother and her mother-daughter relationships. Evelyn’s friend is her mother's age – “but I share so much more than I ever could with mother” – a woman she talks to of music, of books and of life. “What I get from her is the benefit of her experience. What she gets – and enjoys – from me is a youthful perspective. It is a pleasure for both of us”. I have in my own life a precious friend, a woman of 65 who has lived very hard, who is wise, who listens well; who has been where I am and can help me understand it; and who represents not only an ultimate ideal mother to me but also the person I would like to be when I grow up. In our daughter role we tend to do more than our share of self-revelation; in our mother role we tend to receive what's revealed. It is another kind of pleasure – playing wise mother to a questing younger person. It is another very lovely kind of friendship. 6. Part-of-a-couple friends. Some of the women we call our friends we never see alone – we see them as part of a couple at couples’ parties. And though we share interests in many things and respect each other’s views, we aren't moved to deepen the relationship. Whatever the reason, a lack of time or – and this is more likely – a lack of chemistry, our friendship remains in the context of a group. But the fact that our feeling on seeing each other is always, “I am so glad she s here” and the fact that we spend half the evening talking together says that this too, in its own way, counts as a friendship. (Other part-of-a-couple friends are the friends that came with the marriage, and some of these are friends we could live without. But sometimes, alas, she married our husband’s best friend; and sometimes, alas, she is our husband's best friend. And so we find ourselves dealing with her, somewhat against our will, in a spirit of what I will call reluctant friendship). 7. Men who are friends. I wanted to write just of women friends, but the women I have talked to will non let me – they say I must mention man-woman friendships too. For these friendships can be just as close and as dear as those that we form with women. Listen to Lucy’s description of one such friendship: “We have found we have things to talk about that are different from what he talks about with my husband and different from what I talk about with his wife. So sometimes we call on the phone or meet for lunch. There are similar intellectual interests – we always pass on to each other the book that we love – but there is also something tender and caring too”. In a couple of crises, Lucy says, “he offered himself for talking and for helping. And when someone died in his family he wanted me there. The sexual, flirty part of our friendship is very small – but some – just enough to make it fun and different”. She
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thinks – and I agree – that the sexual part, though small, is always some, is always there when a man and a woman are friends. It is only in the past few years that I've made friends with men, in the sense of a friendship that is mine, not just part of two couples. And achieving with them the ease and the trust I have found with women friends has value indeed. Under the dryer at home last week, putting on mascara and rouge, I comfortably sat and talked with a fellow named Peter. Peter, I finally decided, could handle the shock of me minus mascara under the dryer. Because we care for each other. Because we are friends. There are medium friends, and pretty good friends, and very good friends indeed, and these friendships are defined by their level of intimacy. And what we'll reveal at each of these levels of intimacy is calibrated with care. We might tell a medium friend, for example, that yesterday we had a fight with our husband. And we might tell a pretty good friend that this fight with our husband made us so mad that we slept on the couch. And we might tell a very good friend that the reason we got so mad in that fight that we slept on the couch had something to do with that girl who works in his office. But it is only to our very best friends that we are willing to tell all, to tell what's going on with that girl in his office. The best of friends, I still believe, totally love and support and trust each other, and bare to each other the secrets of their souls, and run – no questions asked – to help each other, and tell harsh truths to each other when they must be told. But we need not agree about everything (only 12-year-old girl friends agree about everything) to tolerate each other's point of view. To accept without judgement. To give and to take without ever keeping score. And to be there, as I am for them and as they are for me, to comfort our sorrows, to celebrate our joys.
Questions for Discussion
1. Does the author really define friendship? How has her definition changed over the years, if any? 2. How does Viorst’s use of the word, we, contribute to the “intimacy” of the essay? 3. What purpose did the author have in writing this essay? 4. It is apparent that the essay is directed toward women. (Redbook is a magazine aimed largely at women between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five.) How would Viorst have changed the categories of the essay if it was directed at young men in the same age category? Would her examples have been different? 5. What effect does Viorst’s use of quotations have? 6. How would you describe the tone of the essay?
1. What is your own idea of friendship? Give examples from your own experience or from your reading. 2. Americans seem to value informality and "easy" friendship. Are there disadvantages to such kinds of cultural mores? How does your own society view friendship? 3. Why do you think some people establish friendships more easily than others? 4. Discuss the quotation from George Santayana cited in the biographical sketch of Judith Viorst. Do you agree or disagree or only agree in part? Give your reasons.
Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231
MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays
How many of them would you share with friends or family? 6. Do you have loves and hates that you share with someone? What kind of friendship relationship do you have with that person or persons? Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays .86 5. Make a list. of some of your favourite and least favourite things. as Viorst does in paragraph two.
add RUSSIAN-ENGLISH INSTRUCTIONS and ORGANIZE AS a COMPLETE COURSE Частные уроки Английского Языка 387-1231 MIND Speaks to MIND – Selected American Essays .87 INSERT INSTRUCTIONS OF WRITING DIFFERENT TYPES OF ESSAYS.
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