What appeals to me, then, is not the actual philosophy, but Pirsig's sad, humane attitude toward his son, toward life, toward himself, toward philosophy, toward the truth. He has such respect for life, even though it is so obvious that he will never be able to pin down Quality any more than any other seeker has pinned down the essence of life, by whatever name they call it.
The author begins with the unknown, and with a liking for that unknown: "I'm happy to be riding into this country. It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that" (3). By the end of the book, after a journey across the country and through the self and the history of thought, Pirsig has indeed articulated no rational, philosophic system to make clear sense of this unknown. On the heels of his son's death, he can say only: "I go on living, more from force of habit than anything else" (377-378). He ends the book with a note of hope founded on his new child---reincarnation of the dead Chris? The "something wrong" which led to his and his wife's choice to have the child "was unknown, but it was intense" (380). He claims to have accepted that there is some "larger pattern," but what that pattern is seems to be no clearer by the end of the book then it was in the beg