Based on Walkabout, Is Civilization Is Mistake?

Topics: Primitive culture, Anthropological categories of peoples, Civilization Pages: 3 (895 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Like the Moon-landing, World War II, and Organized Religion, civilization has been a massive step for humanity. However, like most massive steps, whether it has been a step forward or backward is being widely debated all around the world. The topic of civilization, along with its implications on humanity, was indirectly and somewhat critically discussed in James Vance Marshall’s Walkabout, in which two very diverse societies crash, through three young children; two “products of the highest strata of humanity’s evolution” (Marshall, 24), and one, primitive. There are always two sides, two opinions, when it comes to discussing civilization; the first explains how civilization has done nothing but aid humanity in improving and progressing, while the other outlines the ways in which civilization has damaged, abused, or corrupted mankind.

Civilization has helped humans in both acquiring knowledge, and passing it on. “Whatever we have been able to learn of the mystery within us, comes to us as a dividend from Civilization, Inc. Whatever more we are able to bequeath to our heirs and assigns will come from Civilization, Inc.” (Sproul). Civilization, referred to by Sproul as a business (Civilization, Inc.), has provided means by which we can get information from countless resources. We have also been given the means to spread said information, and bequeath it to future generations. Thanks to civilization, humans are now able to communicate vast knowledge through the entire planet, something which was previously impossible.

When civilization came, we were given the ability to cure cure most diseases, and the ability to provide mental and physical escape from pain and ailment. In Walkabout, James Vance Marshall explains how primitive cultures such as the Aboriginals, had members who were “a hundred percent physically fit,” die purely because “ a tribal medicine man has put the death curse on them.” When civilization came, some ridiculous superstitions and phenomena (for...
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