The Flaws of the Creature: a Critique on Walker Percy

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In his essay, "The Loss of the Creature," Walker Percy claims that there are two types of "students:" "privileged" and "unprivileged knowers." However, Percy labels his readers by what he feels is appropriate. According to David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky in the introduction to Ways of Reading, it is up to us, the readers, to determine what Percy might mean when he uses key terms and phrases in his essay. Bartholomae and Petrosky believe that "The meaning is forged from reading the essay, to be sure, but it is determined by your account of what Percy might mean when he talks about ‘symbolic packages' or a ‘loss of sovereignty' (8)." Yet Percy only believes in his ideas because of his elitist point of view and feels as though he is the "privileged knower" who knows how to correctly experience life. I mostly disagree with what Percy says in his essay because he makes several valid arguments, but ultimately contradicts and shoots his own ideas down. I believe that I am an "unprivileged" knower, yet I still have the ability to see things for what they truly are (or as Percy would say, I have not lost my "sovereignty"). My argument is that sovereignty is possible and that it does not require an "expert" like Walker Percy to guide an "unprivileged knower." And I am confident that we, the readers, believe that he is unable to speak for all of us. Moreover, Bartholomae and Petrosky offer readers a way to read Percy, which will allow their own interpretation to be correct and "not be exactly what Percy said" (8). We should all have our own "experiential, emotional sovereignty" to determine what an authentic experience truly is. What do such terms as "sovereignty," "packaging," "privileged," and "dialectic" mean to one who has never read "The Loss of the Creature" by Walker Percy? What do they mean to one who has? What do they mean to Percy? Different answers are very likely to be given to these similar questions. So we are faced with a problem: who is...
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