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loss of the creature

As a college student, I am thirsting for knowledge that will broaden my horizons. Ironically, I am not able to quench my thirst exclusively in the institute of higher learning that I attend. I believe society’s outlook on education is incorrect. Webster’s Dictionary defines that to educate is “to train by formal instruction and supervised practice.” Consequently, society views the process as educators giving knowledge to the students. Contrastingly, I believe education should be more of an independent process, assisted by educators. Students should pursue knowledge, instead of receiving it. In Walker Percy’s The Loss of the Creature, the institution of education is closely examined. Percy explains,” A young Falkland Islander walking along a beach and spying a dead dogfish and going to work on it with his jackknife has, in a fashion wholly unprovided in modern educational theory, a great advantage over the Scarsdale high school pupil who finds the dogfish on his laboratory desk. Similarly the citizen of Huxley’s Brave New World who stumbles across a volume of Shakespeare in some vine-grown ruins and squats on a potsherd to read it is in a fairer way of getting at a sonnet than the Harvard sophomore taking English Poetry II. (Percy, 6)” The essential point of his essay is that the value of an experience, such as learning, is inversely proportional to both the strength of any preconceptions dealing with it, and the number of people simultaneously taking part in the experience. To give an example, a young student who stumbles across a copy of Loss of the Creature by Percy in the library will have a far more valuable experience than any one of seventy people in a freshman year honors class. Many factors contribute to the young student’s ability to experience such a great encounter while reading Loss of the Creature. One factor is the pure randomness and unexpectedness of the ...

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