English 12

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Hamlet’s Humanity

Anguish can alter even the soundest parts of one’s humanity. In the play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet, immensely distressed from the death of his father, falls into a heartbroken state, resulting in the eventual madness in the play. Through literary devices such as tone and diction, Shakespeare creates a character that cannot be seen by the reader as fully-human.

In the first lines of the play, it is explicitly clear to the reader that the tone of Hamlet’s soliloquy is of immense anguish, so much as wishing to go against the natural order, “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! / Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d / His canon ’gainst self-slaughter!” (1.2 132-135). By aspiring for “self-slaughter” and wishing that his “flesh would melt”, Hamlet reveals his inhuman desires to go against the natural order created by the “Everlasting”, namely, God. Only a few lines further, the tone of the soliloquy has turned from depressed to anger to Hamlet’s mother:As if increase of appetite had grown / By what it fed on: and yet, within a month,— / Let me not think on’t,—Frailty, thy name is woman!” (1.2 146-149). The image of feeding, expressed in the quote exhibits Hamlet’s inhuman thoughts of his mother’s insatiable hunger for power. Similarly, the anger, disrespect, and lack of compassion expressed towards his mother, Queen Gertrude, further shows Hamlet’s lack of humanity. By expressing Hamlet’s juxtaposing emotions of depression and anger in the same soliloquy, Shakespeare creates a tone that is not just one of anguish, but of inhuman madness that continues throughout the course of the play.

By using depressing and controversial diction in Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 1, Shakespeare further expresses Hamlet’s inhuman disposition. This is exemplified in line 136, “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable / Seem to me all the uses of this world!” (1.2 136-137). By using melancholy words such as “weary” and “stale”, it becomes clear to the reader of Hamlet’s harsh view of the world. Hamlet further describes the world with revolting diction, “… things rank and gross in nature / Possess it merely.” (1.2 139-140). Hamlet’s lack of joyous words while describing his mother’s marriage show his harsh and inhuman disposition, as seen in the quote, “She married:— O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (1.2 159-60). Diction such as “wicked” and “incestuous” continue to showcase the cold-heartedness of Hamlet’s nature.

In the play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet, distressed from the death of his father, falls into a heartbroken state, resulting in the eventual madness in the play. Through literary devices such as tone and diction, Shakespeare creates a character that cannot be seen as fully human.

Rejection and Societal Oppression of Females in Medea’s Society

“There should be no female sex. With that, men would be rid of all their troubles.” (Euripides, Medea, 633-634). With these words, it is clear that there is no room for females in Medea’s society. This theme is explored through … Continue reading

Symbols in the movie Tsotsi

The movie Tsotsi is rich in visuals. The power of these visuals come from the extensive use of symbols. This paper will be viewing some visual symbols in the film: the craps game at the beginning, the shocking scene where David’s dog is killed and Tsotsi’s gun. This writer also hopes to go beyond what the symbols represent and draw conclusions on both David and the township he lives in.

The craps game at the beginning of the film is a good way to introduce the characters, but the way the scene is presented shows more than just a simple game of craps designed to show the general characters. The two main images that are shown in the first opening seconds of the film, the rolling of dice and the tapping of the knife, consume the whole screen. This is more than just drawing our attention to these images there is nothing but these images, it is clear the directors are trying to a get message across. The first image shown is one of the dice used in their craps game and the second image seen is that of a cheap knife being tapped against the table. These two images show the way of life and mentality of this group. Someone else throwing the dice of your life and violence is the only way to change the roll. Their lives are tenuous and as unpredictable as the roll of a dice.

The image of the dog is a powerful image that will stick with the audience. The dog served the purpose of explaining David’s lack of humanity, but the scene of the dog sticks with us for more than the mindless violence. The dog represents everything that is missing in that society. The dog embodies morals such as loyalty, protection of the weak and most importantly innocence. David had all of these attributes in him as well, but when the dog died, David died as well, and Tsotsi was born. David would only exist again once the baby healed his emotional scars. That is why this scene sticks with us for we mourn the loss of decency.

One item that rarely leaves Tsotsi’s side is his gun. The gun is a perfect symbol of Tsotsi. The gun shows the two separate people living inside David. On the one hand we have David who has morals and is absolutely destroyed by the death of his dog and on the other hand, we have Tsotsi who is utterly unfazed by his “brother”, butcher, stabbing a man for no real reason. These two people could not be more different yet they are in the same body. This duality works like a subtle version of Gollum in Lord of The Rings. Much like how Gollum casts aside the ring to become Smeagol again, Tsotsi places his gun down before giving away the baby becoming David again.

This film paints a bleak picture of both Tsotsi and the society in which he lives. The film paints this picture with powerful symbols such as the craps game, the dog, and Tsotsi’s gun. From these symbols, we can see the chance based mentality of Tsotsi and his “brothers”, the lack of morality in the society and through the gun we can see the rebirth of David.

Is Dr.Sheppard a Reliable Narrator?

The novel “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie relies on its narrator Dr.Sheppard to provide both the direction and misdirection to her novel. While it is true that nothing Dr.Sheppard says is patently untrue, his attempts at omission and deception make him, above all, an unreliable narrator.


By chapter 10, Dr.Sheppard has already concealed three items of supreme importance. The first item he omits is that the death of Mr.Ferrars was most certainly murder. This was crucial to our understanding of Mrs.Ferrars, but Dr.Sheppard only revealed after being backed into a corner by Hercule Poirot. The second item of importance is that he himself is the blackmailer of Mrs.Ferrars. The third critical omission in the 10 chapters is that it was Dr.Sheppard who committed the murder. This third point does sound obvious, but it is of the utmost importance to our question. How can we call a narrator reliable if he drags us through a wild goose chase while he is fully aware of, and omits the final answer for as long as he can?


Dr.Sheppard also uses some other more subtle methods other than blunt omission. For example, on page 699 Dr.Sheppard writes “I am rather pleased with myself as a writer.What could be neater, for instance, than the following: “the letters were brought in at twenty minutes to nine. It was just on ten minutes to nine when I left him, the letter still unread. I hesitated with my hand on the door handle, looking back and wondering if there was anything I had left undone.” Dr.Sheppard uses this paragraph to deceive us as to his whereabouts for the crucial 10 minutes that the murder takes place in. If you read the phrase closely[,] you will notice that those ten key minutes have been left out, but due to the nature of the writing one will not catch this unless they look at the statement very carefully. Dr.Sheppard himself even notes the deception stating “All true, you see. But suppose I had put a row of stars after the first sentence! Would somebody then have wondered what exactly happened in that blank ten minutes?”. How can we call a narrator reliable if he goes to such lengths with the express purpose of deceiving his audience and prevent us from discovering the truth?


Another instance of deception is the following statement by Dr.Sheppard on page 122 “I ran down the stairs and took up the receiver.”what?” I said. “What? Certainly, I’ll come at once” I ran upstairs, caught my bag, and stuffed a few extra dressings into it “Parker telephoning,” I shouted to Caroline, “from Fernly. They’ve just found roger Ackroyd murdered”. In actuality Dr.Sheppard was talking to a patient leaving on a train to Liverpool. Nothing in that statement is necessarily untrue, he did in fact pick up the receiver and say “what?” “What?” and he did in fact tell his sister that Parker telephoned saying that Roger Ackroyd was dead. The key thing to note is that he was simply reporting what he said, he made no claims that what he said was true. While nothing was specifically untrue the intent behind his statements was that of deception and deceit. This statement shows that even while being truthful Dr.Sheppard had the intention of deceiving and manipulating his audience’s perception of the events depicted in the novel.


Perhaps Dr.Sheppard’s conduct can be best described by Hercule Poirot himself “It was strictly truthful as far as it went-but it did not go very far, eh my friend?” (pg.658). Dr.Sheppard was truthful in his recounting, but his recounting did not cover the material required for his audience to make informed judgements. Nor did his writings concisely inform the reader of what relevant information was still in recountings. It has been demonstrated that due to Dr.Shepard’s frequent omission, and constant deception he can only be described as an unreliable narrator.


Mirrors of Crisis

In this paper, the writer will discuss conformity in A Brave New World, Catcher In the Rye and A  Handmaid’s Tale. In addition, this paper will attempt to Prove that conforming in society is a key to happiness, but also question whether it is right to support and work with the society in question.

The society in A Brave New World is a utopia in every sense of the word. This society goes against every single one of our modern morals, from polygamy and encouraging intercourse between prepubescent minors to state enforced morals and the abolition of the family. This work methodically challenges everything we hold to be wholesome and right. Despite the challenges to our morality, it is hard to argue against the society described in A Brave New World, “People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age…And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma (psychoactive drug with no negative side effects).” This society is built for human happiness. Beyond the fact that failing to conform is difficult due to state conditioning, there is nothing to fight against. There is nothing out of reach, no heartbreak, no wars, no hatred and anger, there is nothing to rebel against, no tyrannical government, no religious oppression, no moral divides.  in A Brave New World to conform is easy and it is blissful.

A Handmaid’s Tale is the opposite of the society shown in A Brave New World. Where there was peace and comfort in A Brave new world there is mistrust and fear in A Handmaid’s Tale. Where there was safety, security and justice there are secret police and labour camps, where there was a government built around the ideal of happiness there is a heavy-handed theocracy and in place of equality, you have ethnic and gender oppression. This story of dystopia is told by a handmaid named Offred. She is used to bear children to men who have barren wives. All around her there is resistance and sadness. Two handmaidens belonging to a neighbour are disposed of, one commits suicide and one is taken away by the police. If Offred conformed to this society she would be moderately safe and maybe one day she could be happy with her position. Of course, to conform to this theocracy would be helping to hold up a cruel society that commits terrible atrocities on a daily basis. To conform is to have a chance at survival, but the cost of conforming is that you must surrender every common moral and basic human decency.

The Catcher in the Rye is not set in the utopia of A Brave New World or the bleak dystopia of A Handmaid’s Tale, but is our modern society with our modern values examined by a teen on the verge of adulthood. Holden is disillusioned with our society and believes it to be full of “phonies”. He does not want to partake in the trivial and phony conversations and actions in day to day life. He feels that he has no control  “You know what I’d like to be? I mean if I had my goddam choice?”. The thing Holden does not grasp is that the trivial and phoney conversations only need to make up a small part of your life. If he simply conformed to the society and put up with the trivial conversations he could do whatever he wanted on his own time. Our society is not a utopia, but it is far from dystopia. To conform in our society is to deal with trial matters, but for the most part be able to do what you please.

In all the world’s presented in this book conformity is the key to happiness; however, with the exception of A Brave New World conforming requires a sacrifice on our part. In our society the price is a little of your time spent on trivial matters. In A Handmaid’s Tale conforming/ surviving means sacrificing common morals and decency. Conforming is a key to happiness in many societies, but it is up to the individual to determine if the cost of conformity is worth it.

The Simple Things

Through the eerily enigmatic character Phaedrus, we are taken on chautauqua in search of the meaning of life, and himself. His fundamental concern is with the following seemingly simple but in effect infinitely complex question: “How can one distinguish “good” from “bad?”. To answer this question would be an extremely daring and almost insane task to undertake due to the sheer gravity of what it is really asking you to do. Humans have tried their entire lives to define between Good, and Bad, and have engineered an infinitely complex system to try and draw some sort of line between the two and yet still, we have trouble differentiating between the two. A sound introduction, Rajan.

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig takes the reader on a literary “Chautauqua,” or traveling tale. This chautauqua provides a profound tour of philosophy, discovery, inquiry into values, inspirational thought, and even a little bit of Zen Buddhism. By going on this journey he tries to lay some sort of a base for which he can use to truly define the line that people draw to differentiate between good and bad.

Phaedrus, our narrator, undertakes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of “how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry” (Centre for Spirituality). This is the base that he lays for the reader to try and meld, morals, and common sense together to try and create some form of a perfect system that would work to separate good and bad.

The challenge we face is to make sense of the immensity of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As in Zen (a school of Buddhism that emphasizes the value of meditation, introspection and intuition), the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully … to see and appreciate all details: be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle. After taking this journey we still do not get an answer to what defines good and bad but we get something to distract us from it. We get the fact that instead of focusing on such huge issues it’s better to not think about those issues and simply go about life by not worrying.

How Doctor Sheppard misleads the reader

The novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Is narrated by Dr. Sheppard, the physician in the small English village of King’s Abbot. The story revolves around the citizens of the village and their involvements with the death of Roger Ackroyd, the most wealthy citizen in King Abbott. Dr Sheppard himself is found to be the murderer of Roger Ackroyd and prepares to commit suicide at the end of the novel. The narrator is accused by many readers, including the writer of this paper, to be an unreliable narrator due to the fact that he leaves out many critical details, warping the reader’s perspective on the story. The writer believes that Dr Sheppard leaves out many details that foreshadow the plot twist at the end of the novel. This paper hopes to prove that Dr Sheppard is not as unreliable as one may think.

The narrator leaves many red herrings throughout the novel such as, the mysterious stranger that the doctor meets on his way out of Fenly Park, and the disappearance of Ralph Paton shortly after Roger Ackroyd’s murder. The doctor abuses the red herrings to create, for lack of better words, “sinkholes” that the reader can get caught up in and, in the words of Hercule Poirot, “Make a confusing case even more confusing.” (Pg.213). Through the use of these red herrings Doctor Sheppard can keep himself innocent in the eyes of the reader.

From the beginning of the book, Dr. Sheppard immediately foreshadows his involvement with the murder by saying “I am not going to pretend that at that moment i foresaw the events of the next few weeks. I emphatically did not do so. But my instinct told me that there were stirring times ahead” (Pg.1). This Quote is critical as it foreshadows that Dr. Sheppard knows much more about the current events than he is letting on . It is often overlooked by someone who is reading the book for the first time but, once you come to re-read this section, it is immediately apparent. Dr. Sheppard foreshadows his involvement even further by stating “As a professional man, I naturally aim at discretion.” (Pg.1).

Doctor Sheppard provides a great deal of description throughout the novel but he also leaves out significant portions of the plotline; details that are imperative to the understanding of the murderer. Of course, the writer understands that murder novels must give an air of mystery but strictly speaking, this makes doctor sheppard an unreliable narrator who in fact does mislead the reader.

Why Hamlet can be described as a fully-human character.

Hamlet’s soliloquy represents some of the most raw and human emotions that one can experience. He is still in mourning over the death of his father and has just found out that his mother Gertrude, not even two months after his father’s death[,] has remarried to Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Once the marriage ceremony between Claudius and Gertrude concludes, Hamlet is left alone to express his anger towards the whole ordeal. He shows emotions such as anger, sadness, and even regret, This essay hopes to show why these emotions make Hamlet a fully human character.

Hamlet shows an incredible sense of sorrow and confusion in the soliloquy. He is absolutely furious with the world for torturing him with such things: “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!” (Act 1 Scene 2 Line 129). He immediately wishes that he would simply disappear from the face of the earth than experience these events. Sorrow is a very basic human emotion. Everyone has experienced it with varying levels of severity[,] but Hamlet represents it with such detail that it makes the readers feel a great pity for him. With this mind Hamlet evokes a sense of guilt in the reader and gives them an image of how much pain he is suffering.

Hamlet consistently utilises images throughout the play to show insight into his life and really allow the reader to understand him and his thoughts. For example, “So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother, That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!” (Act 1 Scene 2 line 140-142). The image Hamlet represents with this sentence so vividly portrays his father’s relationship to his mother, which allows us to relate with his confusion and to wonder how his mother could move on to another husband so quickly. These images are the exact reason why people see Hamlet as a human character. Shakespeare creates such vivid images in our mind that allows us to step into his shoes and experience his pain, almost first hand.

Humans are social animals that bond through emotions. If Hamlet is one of the most read literary pieces in the world, one can but imagine the depth of human emotion that Hamlet has generated over the ages. This emotion is precisely why people are able to relate so much to Hamlet and why people find him to be such a human character.

The Great Divide

In our world of prosperity and opportunity, its hard to imagine those who have very little, when so many people are extremely affluent. However, the void between the haves and the have-nots is forever increasing. Using A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, this writer will provide examples of how historically there was a divide between the lower and upper classes, and how in our modern world there is still a great divide.

A Tale of Two Cities exemplifies a period of history where the divide between the haves and the have-nots was most apparent. Dickens, opens his tale with the words; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” (Chapter One) . This statement sets the tone for the rest of the novel. For the haves, it was the best of times. They were free from most of the issues that plagued the have-nots. In contrast, the poor, or the have-nots are experiencing the worst of times. The novel depicts a city of Paris, where the supply of food is short and the price of basic commodities is rising. This the haves can escape. They have the resources to buy food and basic commodities, even when the prices are high. However, no one can circumvent the political oppression being instituted by the reigning monarchy. Opponents of the monarchy were put to death as illustrated by these lines from the novel; “Along the Paris streets, the death carts rumble, hollow and harsh.” (Chapter 15). Perhaps the best example of the divide between the haves and the have-nots, is the inability for the have-nots to conquer and overcome the divide. A person born into a family of have-nots is extremely unlikely to ever become one of those exclusive haves. The nature of the divide is extremely cyclical, and creates even more of a void.  Dickens represents this in his novel by writing the following;

“Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.” (Chapter 15).

A Tale of Two Cities demonstrates the historical significance of the divide between the haves and the have nots.

In our current world, the divide from the past is reflected, and magnified as time progresses. Compared to the society of Paris from the novel, our world has changed drastically. Gone are the monarchs, and “social classes”, and in their space a democracy was created. Many consider a democracy to be an advancement in politics, however for the have-nots it was a step backwards. The happenings of the government is now shrouded in bureaucracy, where the officials elected by the people can be influenced by greed and hidden from the public eye. This allows for the haves, the people with influence in the happenings of the country, to create a system where they are the main beneficiaries. How does this help the have-nots? In fact, this extends the void between the haves and the have-nots. There is a limited amount of wealth in the world, money has to come from a source. As the void increases the the distribution of the wealth spreads out. Those who have lots, gain more, and those who have little, are stuck. As mentioned above, the nature of the divide is cyclical. How are those who have little able to gain more? This writer believes this idea is perfectly summarized by Dickens;

“Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.” (Chapter 5).

Even those willing to work hard and have the capabilities to succeed, have no chance. In today’s world the pool of workers is over concentrated, there are too many people and not enough jobs. Those vying for the job must compete against other people who are on paper identical. In the current world the void between the haves and the have-not is the widest it has ever been, and shows no sign of stopping.

In the novel A Tale of Two Cities the gap between the haves and the have-nots is depicted using a period of time where the gap is very apparent. The have-nots are suffering from a food shortage, rising prices, and political oppression. When we shift to modern times the divide becomes less apparent, but its impact is greater. We know the divide is increasing, but where it stops, nobody knows.

Are you Classic or Romantic?

The students of English 11-12 have put together an experiment as part of the study of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The experiment questions people’s views on “Quality” in reference of the book, before and after reading ZMM. Each student has stated which category they fall under, classic or romantic, and a sentence to explain why they have this view.


For your reference, here follows an outline of two types of personalities that the book identifies:

  1. People who are predominantly Romantic (John and Julia Sutherland) are focused on being “In the moment”, and do not necessarily rely on rational analysis, or
  2. People who have a Classic point of view (the narrator)  strive to know the details, try to understand “the inner workings”, master the mechanics, and focus on rational analysis (with regard to motorcycle maintenance, for example). Phoedrus appreciates both philosophies and, as the narrator progresses on his chautauqua, he reconciles himself with Phoedrus.


Before reading ZMM


Classic: Romantic:
-Patrick -Aiden
-Mark -Anna
-Mr. De Beer -Charlie
-Sarah -Michaela


Aiden H.-  I see things for what they are in front of me, and how they make me feel.

Anna M.-  I think through feelings rather than facts (almost fully romantic)

Ben A.- I tend to act without thinking, but retain the ability to be analytical and introspective at the same time. [73% Romantic]

Charlie B.-  I see and feel things the way they are to me and use my imagination to make sense of it. (80% Romantic)\

Kyle L.- If I know something is the way it is, I just keep it that way. If not, I ask questions and delve into it. (90 romantic, 10 classical)

Mark R.-  I like to know why things are the way they are. (Fully Classical)

For me; it is necessary to understand the reasoning, or background behind an event, decision, or object.

Michaela C.- I find that I don’t need to know why things are what they are, they are just things and knowing what they are is not going to change the way I think or feel about them. (mostly romantic)

Patrick K.- Fact is incapable of lying, whilst appearance is deceiving. Furthermore, reality is bendable based on perspective, therefore appearance is incapable of being truthful. The world is a place of untruths and interpretation more than is encompassed by a romantic perspective. Firmly Classical.

Sarah J.- In the middle. Seeing with my emotions but knowing and understanding the logic meaning like when someone is lucid dreaming. (55% Romantic/ 45% Classic)

Mr. De Beer- As far as I am concerned, no doubt,  I am Classical.


After reading ZMM

Classic: Romantic:
-Patrick -Aiden
-Mark -Anna
-Mr. De Beer -Charlie

Aiden H.- Nothing has changed.

Anna M.- Same

Ben A.- Same

Charlie B.- I have not changed

Kyle L.- Nothing changed

Mark R.- Classic

Michaela C.- Nothing changed

Patrick K.- After reading “ZMM” I realised that a solely classical view is restrictive. Thus, I have changed my perspective and shifted to a medium between classic and romantic. Half way between classic and romantic.

Sarah J.- Over all I still believe I am more equal, however I am tilting further to the romantic side.

Mr. De Beer-  am Classical.

For our class, our view were not dramatically changed. Maybe it’s different for you.

A study on “Quality” part 2: Classical View


Scientific Method:

Question: Why isn’t the Motorcycle working?

Background info: There is no battery, everything else seems to be in order..

Hypothesis: If there was a battery then the motorcycle would run.


Items included in experiment:

  • 2 VersaPak batteries of the same brand, different models
  • A VersaPak battery charger
  • The motorcycle

Process of experiment:

  1. Try battery 1 (the gold model)
  2. Turn on motorcycle.
  3. Try battery 2 (the silver model)
  4. Turn on motorcycle.


– Battery 1 (gold model) powers the motorcycle.

– Battery 2 (silver model) does not power the cycle.

Conclusion: The cycle works when battery 1 is plugged in.


Question: Why is only one battery working?

Background info:

Hypothesis: The battery is not charged.


Items included in experiment:

  • VersaPak Battery
  • A VersaPak battery charger
  • The motorcycle

Process of experiment:

  1. Charge the battery for 5 minutes.
  2. Try the battery in the motor.
  3. Turn on the cycle.


– After charging the battery for 5 minutes and testing it in the motorcycle, it still doesn’t work.

Conclusion: The cycle doesn’t work with this battery after 5 minutes of being charged.


  • The battery was not charged long enough
  • The battery is not the right model for this machine. The connection between the battery and the motorcycle is faulty.
  • The battery is not rechargeable.
  • The battery is faulty.


  • The cycle, the charger and the batteries are all made by the same brand, the battery is designed for the cycle.


Hypothesis: The battery needs to be charged longer.

Hypothesis: The battery is not charged and not rechargeable.

Hypothesis: the battery is faulty.

A study on “Quality” part 1: Romantic View

Gaging Usefulness.103

   What usefulness does a mass of metal on wheels have? The book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” touches on the statement, “Quality is the goal of art” which this writer will be focused on. Viewing life and values from a “romantic” point, this essay will talk about the quality and usefulness of the motorcycle.

   Putting aside all mechanics and science of a cycle, the motorcycle is a beautiful machine. There are two ways in which to view values and quality, “romantic” and “classic”. Classic values are mainly concerned with the underlying form and laws and reason, while Romantic values are concerned with esthetic conscience and feeling over fact.

   To decide if an item is useful, there has to be a defined outline of the word “useful”. The word useful is an individual opinion, however we all use a sort of test to determine if the object is useful or not. If an item where to aid you in anyway, physically, mentally, or emotionally, then the item is useful in some way. Something that would be physically useful, would be an item that makes a job easier, for example a set of tools when you are tuning your cycle. A mentally useful item can help with gumption traps, lack of inspiration or understanding, for example a stop sign is mentally useful, because it helps you to understand something, that you must stop. An item that aids you emotionally is something that encourages and nurtures feelings and emotions, for example music of a piece of art, induces a range of emotions, such as from inspired to accepting, or from delight to depression. To put this into perspective a motorcycle is a mode of transport, which is useful, however the quality of the transportation is a different matter. In addition to aiding you in transport, the cycle provides you with an experience that produces quality. The sound of the engine humming, the newly shined metal, that crisp coat of paint, the openness to the environment, are all examples of how the motorcycle is “useful”. 

   Talking specifically “the motorcycle” provided in class, this writer would argue that it is an item of great use, it just takes the right attitude to see it. This motorcycle holds symbolic use, among other uses. The symbol it holds is unarguable different to each viewer, however the ability to induce so many different meanings increases its usefulness. A mental aid.