David Foster Wallace, This Is Water

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Dalrymple 1
Kevin Dalrymple
Matt Martinson
English 101.9
1 November 2012
A Summary of David Foster Wallace, “In His Own Words”
According to the article by David Foster Wallace, “In His Own Words” the “most obvious important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” Wallace argues that a liberal arts education gives you human value instead of just materialistic reward; therefore it not only fills you up with knowledge but “teaches you how to think”. Not the actual capacity to think, but your ability to make choices of what to think about.

Even though Wallace’s perception of the American Student is that they need to be taught how to think. I believe it is ridiculous to presume that every student starting or graduating college can’t think for themselves or have goals in place. Students’ first choice made was going to college. I do believe what Wallace meant by that comment was that some people not all need a little jump start on how to make better choices in their decision making skills. I do agree that students come into college not thinking about what they are going to do after college. They just know that friends are going so they should go as well.

Wallace goes on to explain that no two people will acquire the same exact experience because people think differently and have different beliefs; furthermore Wallace states people are self-centered like we are hard wired to only see things in their own perspective. People that can adjust this natural default of self-centeredness are called “well adjusted”

I totally agree with Wallace. People learn at their own pace, they have their own tastes, values, morals, in addition let us not forget religion and politics. The experience received is in the eye of the beholder. As for us all being self-centered, apparently I am just one of the unique people who are “well adjusted”. I don’t agree with Wallace’s insinuation that everyone is hard wired and that we think only of ourselves....
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