The Abolition of Man
C. S. Lewis
“Men without Chests”
People’s emotions towards certain things are the result of society conditioning these feelings into them. The authors of “The Green Book” felt that students needed to be able to identify emotion versus fact. “The Green Book” tries to steer the students away from falling prey to previous conditioning of emotions by rendering them as unimportant. “That all sentences containing a predicate of value are statements about the emotional state of the speaker, and secondly, that all such statements are unimportant” (4). The next thing the “The Green Book” teaches a student is that the first thing to do when shown a piece of writing is to debunk all that one can. The authors of “The Green Book” seem to have a very cynical way of approaching English.
C. S. Lewis does not disagree that people’s emotions tend to be the result of previous conditioning. He does disagree with what “The Green Book” ends up teaching students. “What he will learn quickly enough is the belief that all emotions aroused by local association are in themselves contrary to reason and contemptible” (8). C. S. Lewis goes to explain how the school book itself is conditioning the students to feel a certain way; teaching the students to have a negative cogitation towards statements with emotion in them. He also disagrees with trying to debunk statements within a text right away because it is redundant; anyone could debunk any statement within a text for one reason or another, even in one of the best pieces of literature out there today. C. S. Lewis is appalled that most of the English high school textbooks out there teach the same things that “The Green Book” teaches. Emotions are the very essence of man in his view. He is beyond disgusted that “The Green Book” main point is “those who are logical must regard all sentiments as equally non-rational” (21); he is beyond disgusted that schools are...
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