Sue Van Allen
June 16, 2012
This is my reflection paper on a class I really enjoyed and the books… well, not so much! But I will do my best to revisit and summarize them all.
The Dancing Wu Li Masters
Gary Zukav and the others present developed the idea of physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters--the teachers of physical essence. Zukav explains the concept further: The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter. This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li. Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it. A Clockwork Orange
Alex narrates A Clockwork Orange immediately after the events of the novel. The narrator speaks in the first person, subjectively describing only what he sees, hears, thinks, and experiences. The tone is Irreverent; comical; hateful; playful and juvenile. It’s written mostly in past tense for, though in the last few paragraphs the narrator switches to present tense. Setting is in the not-so-distant future, in a large town or small city in England, as well as an English countryside village. Alex is also the protagonist. Major conflicts occur when · Alex asserts himself against the State, which seeks to suppress his freedom by psychologically removing his power to make free choices. Alex commits several violent crimes that disrupt the order of the State. The climax of the book happens when Alex is apprehended by the police and sent to jail, where he eventually undergoes behavioral conditioning that kills his capacity for violence. Alex becomes a being incapable of making moral decisions, and he is caught up in a political struggle between the current government and a cabal of revolutionaries.
Man’s Search for Meaning
Vicktor Frankl is a Holocaust survivor who outlines his experiences in concentration camp. His approach to telling his story involves explaining the psychological stages that each prisoner goes through. He explores not only the stages during imprisonment, but also those that occur upon release. Frankl recalls that many prisoners, including himself, would hold onto visions of their loved ones to help get them through. Part of recovering and rejoining the world outside of camp was being reunited with family members and friends. For Frankl, one of the most difficult parts of the process was overcoming the blow of not having anyone left upon his release. The memory of his wife's face kept him going during the trials of camp, but she was not there to help him heal.
The Prisons We Choose to Live Inside
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, refers to the domination of human beings by the savagery of their past, and how they have the tools to escape this domination in the form of new behavioral information, but have not absorbed or applied that information to make the necessary changes. She means that the madness of war, the destruction of the environment, prejudice, an injustices dulls our senses and negatively affects our capacities to move and act more positively.
The Language Police
Diane Ravitch, writes about, what began with the best of intentions, has veered toward strange extremes. At a time when we celebrate and encourage diversity, young readers are fed censored texts, unusual of the references that give these works their meaning and strength. With forceful arguments and sensible solutions for rescuing American education from the pressure groups that have made classrooms bland and uninspiring, The Language Police offers a powerful corrective to a cultural scandal. Excerpt
One: Forbidden Topics, Forbidden Words
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious en- croachment by men of...