Percy’s topic of loss comes through numerous times in his essay. He discusses the loss of sovereignty, the loss of the creature. His main point here is to beware of becoming consumers of knowledge.
He uses typical situations as examples that many of us have been in to help better understand his point. For example, in touring the Grand Canyon, Percy discusses how the experts have a plan for the way they want a visitor to view the Canyon. Trails are set up with donkey rides and looking stations are provided to the viewer with a good, yet typical, experience. “The measures taken are measures appropriate to the consumer: the expert and planner know and plan, but the consumer needs and experiences (492).” This means that the visitor sees the Canyon in the same way that everyone else sees it. It is not as special or meaningful since many are expecting to have it look a certain way. It is a struggle for a person to view something in their own way rather than following the way others see it, yet it is beneficial in the end. Of course, everyone has preconceived notions when they view something as magnificent or popular as the Grand Canyon, but it is important to ensure that an individual can view it for what it is. The media and public have shaped these notions a lot, but it is still important for someone to not simply consume knowledge because then it is a loss.
Someone who goes to see the Grand Canyon or any place they have an idea about that place, a preconceived notion. We have certain expectations and when they do not add up to what we expected we get disappointed. This is not a good way to go into a situation. They then do not get the whole experience, or feel how Cardenas felt when he walked upon the Grand Canyon.
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