This essay About 600 words has a total of 572 words and 3 pages.
About 600 words
Barthelme’s “The School” is the first postmodernist story I have ever read. When I read it for the first time, my lips formed a bitter smile. In my imagination, postmodernist stories differed from the classical ones in the arrangement of the ideas and in the standard that postmodernists reject society. True, “The School” does differ in composition, for example the absence of introduction, but though it sounds somewhat comical, it does also have an incorporated pessimism that makes me reflect on the story. I think this pessimism is the cause that postmodernists reject society.
The notion of rejection comes in the story through the death cases. It seems strange why Barthelme uses the notion death in his story, but I think the reason is that this is the best way to stress that every living thing is losing its importance. Hopeless pessimism interweaves with the idea of rejection, and I find them together everywhere, in every death case.
For Barthelme, what is lost is unrecoverable. Pessimism, mostly expressed in taking death naturally, spreads uniformly all over the story, from the first paragraph about the orange trees to the last when the new gerbil enters the classroom. In this school, where the children are supposed to receive education, everything dies. The fish, the salamander, and the orange trees die though children take much care of them. The teacher is pessimistic although life goes on and a new gerbil walks in the school. Edgar says that “life is that which gives meaning to life,” but still this does not change that Edgar knew that the puppy would die in two weeks. He had seen worse when some parents died in a car accident and when two children died while playing with each other in a dangerous place. What else, but pessimism, could one expect in an environment where every living thing, including children, is dying?
Death’s dominance in the story shows again that society, which presumably should foster the growth of the future individuals (i.e. children), destroys their very existence. By the end of the story, it is easy to understand that death is the destiny of the children as well, because it would be impossible for them to live in an environment (commonly known as ‘society’) where parents (symbol of wisdom) die. It is impossible to live in an environment where the teacher himself is aware that whatever living creature, like the puppy for example, that enters the school (a social institution) will eventually cease to exist.
At this point, I become certain that “The School” is a demonstration that pessimism drives postmodernists. As Barthelme stresses in the second to last paragraph, death is a close companion of life. The very adjacency of death with the kids, who do as well symbolise life as they are at the very beginning of it, proves my point. The writer seems, besides other things, to question the very nature of existence. One should remember the closing paragraph where the kids ask the teacher whether death gives meaning to life. The answer he gives is that life is what gives meaning to life. One could justly ask: why is the story full of images of death then? Because the story seems to be a sketch of the society, which by breeding death (death in the symbolical sense: death of the ideas, joy, identity) prompts the postmodernists to reject it.
Philosophy of life, Emotions, Epistemology, Motivation, Pessimism, Postmodernism, Modernism, Donald Barthelme
Essays Related to About 600 words
PhilosophyPhilosophy When I was born, I did not know the difference between right and wrong. Now, I do. The word philosophy means the love of knowledge. One type of knowledge is propter quid, which ask the question why or how. In this paper, I will demonstrate how Socrates, Hume and Aristotle, three well known philosophers, would explain how I acquired this knowledge in relation to the principles of right and wrong. Socrates is the first philosopher, I will discuss. Since Socrates did not write anything
A Time of Change A Time of Change The enlightenment was a great time of change in both Europe and America. Some of the biggest changes, however, happened in the minds of many and in the writings of many philosophers. These included some of the beliefs of David Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and Francois Voltaire. Writers during this time focused on optimism, which is the opinion to do everything for the best (Chaney 119), and the best for these philosophers was to stretch the minds of the ordinary.
Descartes vs Berkeley 030595 Descartes vs. Berkeley 03/05/95 In Descartes' First Meditation, Descartes writes that he has come to the conclusion that many of the opinions he held in his youth are doubtful, and consequently all ideas built upon those opinions are also doubtful. He deduces that he will have to disprove his current opinions and then construct a new foundation of knowledge if he wants to establish anything firm and lasting in the sciences that is absolutely true. But rather than disprove each of his opinions i
Industrial Revolution Industrial Revolution A report concerning critical thinking and the Industrial Revolution. The 18th century brought about many changes to European countries. Advancements in science, technology and engineering brought about an improvement in living conditions to the widespread area. The improved living conditions induced an increase of population by the millions. From 1750-1800, the English population grew from 6 to 9 million and the French population grew from 19 to an enormous increase of 26
Samantha Srinivasan Samantha Srinivasan Philosophy 101-01 Prof. Evans Dec. 16, 1998 Paper Assignment: Topic #3 Nietzsche is known as a philosopher who was very poetic in his writings. He used a real Persian prophet named Zarathustra, as his character within his philosophy. The way Plato used Socrates, Nietzsche used Zarathustra’s mouth to speak his philosophy. An example, how Nietzsche uses Zarathustra in his book is in the chapter entitled “ On the Tree on the Mountain.” Within this chapter, the story represents
The Grin that Apes a Smile The Grin that Apes a Smile Optimism, n. The doctrine, or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong. It is held with greatest tenacity by those accustomed to the mischance of falling into adversity, and is most acceptably expounded with the grin that apes a smile. It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious, writes Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary. Optimism is more traditionally known as the
Shane Shane Shane is a classic example of western fiction in which Schaefer contrasts the values of the isolated family farm with the lawlessness of the cowtown. Shane, the gunfighter protagonist, attempts to find peace with the farmers but can only help clear away the violence for the civilization the farmers bring. Schaefer reveals the difficult struggles of homesteaders who fight to bring justice to an ungoverned land, and strives to fulfill the hopes and promises of prosperity to their families.
Human Rights Human Rights On December tenth 1948 in the Palis de Chaillot in Paris, the United Nation's General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document is made up of thirty articles which deal with a series of basic human rights and duties. It follows the premise that the declaration is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teach
Macbeth Macbeth Macbeth is the epitome of what the literary world regards a tragic hero. His admirable qualities are supplanted with greed and hate when he is duped by the three witches. Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches. Yes, it is the first scene from William Shakespeare's Macbeth, a tragic tale of one man's quest for power and his ultimate defeat. The story revolves around our tragic hero, Macbeth, and how an admirable and noble man, so established in society, can fall so greatly. Through
Discrimination Discrimination The struggle for social and economic equality of Black people in America has been long and slow. It is sometimes amazing that any progress has been made in the racial equality arena at all; every tentative step forward seems to be diluted by losses elsewhere. For every Stacey Koons that is convicted, there seems to be a Texaco executive waiting to send Blacks back to the past. Throughout the struggle for equal rights, there have been courageous Black leaders at the forefront of
The Life of Rene' DescartesThe Life of Rene' Descartes Rene' Descartes was a French mathematician, philosopher and anatomist. He contributed a great deal to modern ideas , particularly those concerned with geometry. He was known in his time as a mechanist, because he believed that nature could be explained through rational means, and inherent patterns could be found. During his life, Descartes remade geometry and made modern geometry possible. Rene' Descartes was born on March, 31 1596 in La Haye, Touraine, which was a fo
Karl Marx was born on May 5 1818 in a place called Trier in Prussia Ma Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in a place called Trier in Prussia. Marx attended the university of Bonn and later the university of Berlin, where he studied law, while majoring in history and philosophy. Karl Marx was married to his childhood friend Jenny von Westphalen, in 1843. Karl met his closest friend Frederick Engels in September of 1844, when he arrived in Paris. Together they participated in the activities of many revolutionary societies, and formed the theory and ideas of revoluti
Anais NinAnais Nin Anais Nin was a passionate woman, not only in her works but also in her life. The fact that she lived life to the fullest is what made her books so intriguing. Although her diaries were a chronicle of her experience, her fiction showed the reader sides of her while displaying everyone's innermost desires. In her own words Nin says, the role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say (Rollins), and she does exactly that. For this reason her works ta
Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass Frederick Douglass was one of the most important black leaders of the Antislavery movement. He was born in 1817 in Talbot County, MD. He was the son of Harriet Bailey and an unknown white man. His mother was a slave so therefore he was born a slave. He lived with his grandparents until the age of eight, so he never knew his mother well. When he turned eight, he was sent to Aunt Kathy, a woman who took care of slave children on the plantation of Colonel Edward Lloyd. When he
Yukon JackYukon Jack The short lived life of Jack London is a direct reflection of his literary works major theme, the struggle for survival of strong men driven by primitive emotions. “To Build A Fire” and White Fang are two of his works that coincide his life experiences and illustrate his literary theme. London was born the illegitimate son of W.H. Chaney and Flora Wellmen in 1876. He never saw his biological father and his mother had little to do with him. Eight months after his birth, his mother marr
John Muir's Trail in HistoryJohn Muir's Trail in History John Muir was a man of great importance in the history of the United States and in the preservation of it's beauty. His tireless efforts to protect natural wonders such as Yosemite Valley demonstrated his undying love for the outdoors. Muir took a stand against the destructive side of civilization in a dauntless battle to save America's forest lands. The trail of preservation that Muir left behind has given countless numbers of people the opportunity to experience na
Management and The Body ShopManagement and The Body Shop In this paper I will be taking a look at basic management functions. The approaches, and the synthesis of two views of management. I will attempt to take an overview of culture and its effect on a company. In today's changing global environments many companies have joined the open trade policies, and existing foreign opportunities available to growing companies with positive views and socially responsible attitudes. It all sounds like a lot to cover in a short essay
Australians Against Further ImmigrationAustralians Against Further Immigration OUR VIEW Environment Humanitarianism Economics Health Defences Education Culture Australia's immigration policy is disastrous, proceeding as if there is no balance of payment problem, no foreign debt and no geographical or environmental constraints to population growth. Continued immigration will finally and irreversibly alter the natural and urban environment, economic viability and attitudes and culture of our nation. The people have been consulted on, o
Affirmative Action Solution or ConfusionAffirmative Action: Solution or Confusion? Affirmative action is a plan designed to end discrimination by guaranteeing minorities will be hired, regardless of race or gender. While our country hires such groups based upon these guarantees, the qualifications of such people are occasionally overlooked. Many believe that affirmative action is a very effective plan; however, the population which opposes such action frequently includes people of various minorities, as well as many others who have be
Capital PunishmentCapital Punishment By: Omer Kassam Thesis One: In principle a case can be made on moral grounds both supporting and opposing capital punishment. Thesis two: Concretely and in practice, compelling arguments against capital punishment can be made on the basis of its actual administration in our society. Two different cases can be made. One is based on justice and the nature of a moral community. This leads to a defense of capital punishment. The second is based on love and the nature of an ideal s
Personal Freedom In the United States of AmericaPersonal Freedom In the United States of America No other democratic society in the world permits personal freedoms to the degree of the United States of America. Within the last sixty years, American courts, especially the Supreme Court, have developed a set of legal doctrines that thoroughly protect all forms of the freedom of expression. When it comes to evaluating the degree to which we take advantage of the opportunity to express our opinions, some members of society may be guilty of violat
Karl Marx and MarxismKarl Marx and Marxism Karl Marx set the wheels of modern Communism and Socialism in motion with his writings in the late nineteenth century. In collaboration with his friend, Heinrich Engels, he produced the The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848. Many failed countries' political and socio-economic structures have been based on Marx's theories, for example the USSR, East Germany etc. Many people believe that Marxism is not applicable to today's society, as Karl Marx put forward his ideas not a
Paramilitary and Survivalist GroupsParamilitary and Survivalist Groups There are many different forms of militias and paramilitary groups, whose membership and ideology often vary from, place to place. However, what most have in common, is their hatred for the federal government. In recent years, there have been far too many violent acts done by these militias, seeking to prove their points to the government, and the public at large. They have threatened to blow up power plants, government buildings, even the Hoover Dam. They hol
SocialismSocialism The term socialism is commonly used to refer both to an ideology--a comprehensive set of beliefs or ideas about the nature of human society and its future desirable state--and to a state of society based on that ideology. Socialists have always claimed to stand above all for the values of equality, social justice, cooperation, progress, and individual freedom and happiness, and they have generally sought to realize these values by the abolition of the private-enterprise economy (see CA
Liberalism and FreedomLiberalism and Freedom Liberalism is a force that has produced change from the birth of this nation to the politics of today. Liberal tenets have been a basis of thought and action in American politics since well before the signing of the Constitution. Certainly, liberalism has had to transform in order to remain a legitimate force throughout the years. When considering this transformation, one may ask whether or not the ideas and goals of classical liberalism have been lost in the conversion in
GodGod Since the time of Epicurus to the present, many people have had certain beliefs in myths and in the Gods. Epicurus presents his philosophy pertaining to these convictions. In his reasoning, he derives a definition of mythology and of the Gods contradicting to much of popular thought. Many people depend on mythology when they need an explanation for a phenomenon. Epicurus rationalizes that mythology is unchangeable and dogmatic, for “when one accepts one theory and rejects another which is eq
Insights on De Tocqueville's Democracy In America Insights on De Tocqueville's Democracy In America It has been said that a French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited the United States in the 1830's, understood us in a way that few observers (foreign and domestic) have. Furthermore, Tocqueville's Democracy in America is often cited by present-day critics because so many of the observations in it seem extraordinarily suitable even more than one hundred and fifty years later. Alexis de Tocqueville was born 1805 into a minor noble fam
The Life of Aristotle The Life of Aristotle When Plato died in 347 bc, Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his, Hermias (died 345 bc), was ruler. There he counseled Hermias and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythias. After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians, Aristotle went to Pella, the Macedonian capital, where he became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle returned to Athe
Carl Orffs philosophies in Music EducationCarl Orffs philosophies in Music Education While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His fathers regiment band would often play through some of the young Orffs first att
Catcher in the Rye Holden and His Phony FamilyCatcher in the Rye - Holden and His Phony Family The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, interacts with many people throughout J.D. Salingerâ€™s novel The Catcher in the Rye, but probably none have as much impact on him as certain members of his immediate family. The ways Holden acts around or reacts to the various members of his family give the reader a direct view of Holdenâ€™s philosophy surrounding each member. How do Holdenâ€™s different opinions of his family compare and do his views constitute
Emily DickinsonEmily Dickinson Emily Dickinson was raised in a traditional New England home in the mid 1800s. Her father along with the rest of the family had become Christians and she alone decided to rebel against that and reject the Church. She like many of her contemporaries had rejected the traditional views in life and adopted the new transcendental outlook. Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised in, before the transcendental period was the epicenter of religious practice. Founded by t
Gods Of Management Gods Of Management The author, in the Gods of Management, attempts to classify four distinct management cultures that exist within all organizations. The author further uses the ancient Greek gods to symbolize these management cultures or philosophies. There are four types of management cultures or philosophies present within all organizations. The four cultures are the club (Zeus), role (Apollo), task (Athena), and existential (Dionysus) cultures. The first culture the author discusses is the
A Streetcar Named Desire A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams was once quoted as saying Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama...the purest language of plays (Adler 30). This is clearly evident in A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Williams's many plays. I n analyzing the main character of the story, Blanche DuBois, it is crucial to use both the literal text as well as the symbols of the story to get a complete and thorough understanding of her. Before one can understand Blanche's character one must
Candide - A Contrast to Optimism Candide - A Contrast to Optimism Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire was the French author of the novella Candide, also known as Optimism(Durant and Durant 724). In Candide, Voltaire sought to point out the fallacy of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of optimism and the hardships brought on by the resulting inaction toward the evils of the world. Voltaire's use of satire, and its techniques of exaggeration and contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when
The European RenaissanceThe European Renaissance The Renaissance was a period of European history, considered by modern scholars as that between 1300 and 1600. Many dramatic changes happend during the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a period of new inventions and beliefs. The Renaissance was drastically different from the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages the church held most of the power and it's economy was agriculturaly based. Exploration and learning was almost put to a stop. During the Renaissance society was t
A QUEEN ADORED ENGLAND'S ELIZABETH II A QUEEN ADORED: ENGLAND'S ELIZABETH II Countess of Longford, Elizabeth Pakenham, was born in London England in 1906. She attended Lady Margaret Hall and Oxford University where she studied classical history and philosophy. She later married Oxford professor and politician, the seventh Earl of Longford in 1931, with whom she had eight children. She worked as a tutor from 1930-36 in the Worker's Educational Association, and was a member of the Paddington and St. Pomcras Rent Tribunal from 1946-51
Edward James Hughes is one of the most outstanding living British poet Edward James Hughes is one of the most outstanding living British poets. In 1984 he was awarded the title of the nation's Poet Laureate. He came into prominence in the late fifties and early sixties, having earned a reputation of a prolific, original and skilful poet, which he maintained to the present day. Ted Hughes was born in 1930 in Yorkshire into a family of a carpenter. After graduating from Grammar School he went up to Cambridge to study English, but later changed to Archaeology and Ant
Oscar Wilde real name Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on Oscar Wilde (real name Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde) was born on October 16th, 1854 in Dublin. His father, William Robert Wilde, was an eminent eye doctor, with an interest in myths and folklore. He was the founder of the first eye and ear hospital in Great Britain, as well as the appointed Surgeon Occultist to the Queen, who knighted him. His mother, Jane Francesca Elgee Wilde, was a poet who wrote patriotic Irish verse under the pen name Speranza, and had a considerable following. As
Carl Jung Carl Jung Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a son of a minister in Switzerland. He was born on July 26, in the small village of Kesswil on Lake Constance. He was named after his grandfather, a professor of medicine at the University of Basel. He was the oldest child and only surviving son of a Swiss Reform pastor. Two brothers died in infancy before Jung was born. Jung's mother was a neurotic and often fought with his father. Father was usually lonely and very irritable. When the child could n
I was once called the most dangerous woman in America because I dared I was once called the most dangerous woman in America because I dared to ask for the unthinkable- the right to vote. I challenged my culture's basic assumptions about men and women, and dedicated my life to the pursuit of equal rights for all women. My name is Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I was born in Johnstown, New York, on the 12th of November, 1815. My father is the prominent attorney and judge Daniel Cady and my mother is Margaret Livingston Cady. I was born the seventh child and middle daughte
Massachusetts the state where Emily was born and raised in before the Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised in, before the transcendental period was the epicenter of religious practice. Founded by the puritans, the feeling of the avenging had never left the people. After all of the Great Awakenings and religious revivals the people of New England began to question the old ways. What used to be the focal point of all lives was now under speculation and often doubted. People began to search for new meanings in life. People like Emerson and Thor
Jason Platko Jason Platko Mrs. Pena English 28 May, 1996 Everyone is destined to be great for a moment in their lives. For Gerard Manley Hopkins this was difficult. Gerard was a poet that came way before his time and people didn't realize the power he had with words. Gerard Manley Hopkins was one of the most original poets to write in English at any time period. He only lived for 45 years and only had three of his poems published during his lifetime. Gerard was torn between his love of God and his love of p
HITLER HITLER The year was 1929, the Great Depression had hit hard all over the world. People were losing their jobs, and their way of life was changing drastically right before their eyes; the people needed money fast. They needed to rebuild their lives and get back on their feet again, economically, politically, and socially. They needed a way out of this slump fast, and Hitler was there for the rescue. In 1933, Germany was facing a high unemployment level, leaving people to fend for themselves on t
English IIIKim Nash English III Kim Nash Essay May 28, 1996 James Joyce, an Irish novelist and poet, grew up near Dublin. James Joyce is one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century. In each of his prose works he used symbols to experience what he called an epiphany, the revelation of certain revealing qualities about himself. His early writings reveal individual moods and characters and the plight of Ireland and the Irish artist in the 1900's. Later works, reveal a man in all his complexity as an a
Martin Luther King Martin Luther King The most important person to have made a significant change in the rights of Blacks was Martin Luther King. He had great courage and passion to defeat segregation and racism that existed in the United States, and it was his influence to all the Blacks to defy white supremacy and his belief in nonviolence that lead to the success of the Civil Rights movement. Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia where the city suffered most of the racial disc
MARTIN LUTHER MARTIN LUTHER Martin Luther was a German theologian and religious reformer, who started the Protestant Reformation, and whose vast influence during his time period made him one of the crucial figures in modern European history. Luther was born in Eisleben on November 10, 1483 and was descended from the peasantry, a fact that he often stressed. Hans Luther, his father, was a copper miner. Luther received a sound primary and secondary education at Mansfeld, Magdeburg, and Eisenach. In 1501, at th
NAPOLEON I NAPOLEON I Napoleon's life was a very interesting one. Starting a poor boy, hated by most, rising to rule a huge empire, and then finally being destroyed by his own arrogance and ending his life humbled, remembering what he had doe, and leaving it all in his memoirs for the world to read. Napoleon was born in 1769, on the Island of Corsica. His parents, Carlo and Letizia Bonaparte, were poor nobles. When Napoleon was just 10 years old, his father helped to get him a mathematical scholarship to
Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged by Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time.
Rene Descartes Rene Descartes Rene Descartes was born March 31, 1596 in La Haye, Touraine. Descartes was the son of a minor nobleman and belonged to a family that had produced a number of learned men. At the age of eight, he was enrolled in the Jesuit school of La Fleche in Anjou, where he remained for eight years. Besides the usual classical studies, he received instruction in math and in Scholastic philosophy. Roman Catholicism exerted a strong influence on Descartes throughout his life. Upon graduation fro
Book Report The Art of Rock and Roll Book Report: The Art of Rock and Roll The book “The Art of Rock and Roll” by Charles T. Brown basically proposes methods for analyzing music and anyone who reads the books should be able to develop techniques for listening to music and making legitimate statements about it. It treats rock and roll as a serious art form and traces it cultural roots throughout the book. Chapter one discusses the elements of rock and makes four assumptions. Assumption one states that rock is a legitimate art form.