Grades of Thinking

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In “Thinking as a Hobby” by William Golding, the narrator describes what he thinks three grades of thinking are. He believes that most people are grade three thinkers. Grade three thinkers tend to feel, and not to think. Golding gives an example of his teacher Mr. Houghton, who would always talk about “good life, sexless, and free of duty”, while “his neck would turn of itself” if a girl passed by the window. “Mr. Houghton thought with his neck.” A grade-two thinker is someone who can detect contradictions—someone who is critical but does not produce fresh ideas. While grade one and two thinking may “make life fun and exciting”, it does not make for content. They have elevated their thinking above nine-tenths of society and are able to see more than the average person. Grade-two thinkers are not nearly as enlightened as grade-one thinkers though, who, according to Golding, are brilliant free-thinkers like Einstein whose ideas change the way that everyone else sees the world. A grade-three thinker that I know well is a family friend named Aaron. He is always talking about how everyone must live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy food. Although he has a lot to say on this topic, he does the complete opposite. His whole life he enjoyed raw meat and drank vodka by the hour, but when it came to others eating pizza one day he looked at us as though we were crazy. He always talked about how unhealthy my family and I ate and how we should change that, while at the same time he was gulping down bread and drinking it down with beer. From reading a previous story “There Is No Tomorrow” by Bill Moyers, Moyers describes Christian fundamentalist beliefs aimed to relax all environmental protection efforts. Moyers is most likely a grade 2 thinker, because he can point out contradictions in the established thought of a group or majority. Even though he could see what was wrong, he could not produce fresh ideas for solving the problem. Moyers said he was reading...
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