Prometheus: Intertext In Frankenstein

If one were to quickly read through Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a great deal of important allusions would be looked over.  One of her harder to miss intertexts that she alludes to is the Greek myths regarding Prometheus.  This intertext is made evident before the first sentence of the novel even begins; it is included in the subtitle of the book: Frankenstein or a Modern Prometheus.  Because of this early mention of Prometheus directly in the title, some may think that the significance that this intertext will have on the entire novel is obvious; they assume that the intertextual moments are only important because it serves as the foundation to most of the story and plot that Shelley delivers in Frankenstein.  Even with this being true, the real significance of this intertext is how it highlights and extends Victor’s character by relating him to Prometheus.

The parallels that are seen between Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein are exposed as soon as the Victor’s narrative begins.  The first chapter describes the type of family that Victor grew up with.  His lineage was portrayed as being one of the most distinguished from the republic of Geneva.  Victor’s ancestors had been, “for many years counsellors and syndics; and [his] father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation,” (Shelley, 39).  This type of upbringing that is described closely relates to Prometheus’.  Prometheus was the son of the Titan, Iapetus, and goddess, Clymene.  Raised with the gods, he—like Victor—was brought up in a world of power, knowledge, and wealth.  With this knowledge of the relation Victor has with Prometheus, the reader is able to relate Victor to someone who could have godlike abilities, arrogance, and pride.  These early intertextual moments help to foreshadow the   

Additionally, the correlation between these two grows further as Victor’s narrative continues and he describes his youth and his increasing desire for godly knowledge.  This intertext is crucial in allowing the reader to see Victor’s true character in the relation he has to Prometheus.  Prometheus is well known in Greek mythology to have been extremely passionate for knowledge.  He was taught mathematics, architecture, metalworking, writing, astronomy, navigation, and much more by the goddess Athena after helping to free her from Zeus.  Frankenstein says, “The world was to me a secret, which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember” (Shelley, 47).  This clearly shows his passion for learning, which he took to the University of Ingolstadt, where he was a slave to his schoolwork.  This type of work relates immensely to that of Prometheus, and moreover, signifies this stories’ theme regarding Victor as someone who takes on more than he can handle.

This unquenchable thirst for knowledge also led to the ability for both Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein to create life.  Victor had the notion and desire to be godlike by discovering the secrets to life and death.  During his years at Ingolstadt, he devoted himself to this cause.  After failing many times he finally succeeds by sending a bolt of lightning into his creature, as if he were a god.  Likewise, Prometheus was the creator of mankind: he brought forth man from molded clay.  This intertext’s importance is therefore seen because both of these ‘higher beings’ defied even higher powers in their indulgent quest for knowledge and overreached unwritten boundaries.   These indulgencies are further depicted when it becomes clear that Victor is seeking some type of worship from his creation: “A new species would bless me as its creator and source many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me,” exclaimed Victor (Shelley, 89).  This theme is also expressed by Prometheus in his attempts to win over his creations by coddling and gifting them.

These parallels seen in the story are significant in how they help to illuminate Victor’s character and allow a reader who knows the story of Prometheus to relate with him on a higher level.  The analogous elements in Frankenstein signal to the reader clues as to what will happen with Victor later on in the story after the creation of his monster.   Because Frankenstein mirrors Prometheus, Victor’s eventual downfall is expected, especially after flying as high as the gods.  Prometheus defies Zeus by tricking him for the betterment of mankind by stealing fire from Zeus after he was prohibited from doing so.  As punishment, Zeus chains Prometheus to a rock and has his liver eaten daily by an eagle and it grows back to be devoured again every next day.  This is significant in how it relates to Victor’s own never ending demise, which comes in the deaths of everyone he’s close too.  The isolation and deep distress Prometheus suffers emphasizes Victor’s mirrored situation.

In addition to highlighting the features of Victor that relate with Prometheus, the intertext also accentuates Victor’s differences with Prometheus.  After creating mankind Prometheus fought for his creations.  He attempted to better their lives and give them hope by nurturing them, teaching them mathematics, architecture, metalworking, and many other useful skills.  Contrary to Prometheus who acted responsibly after creating man, Victor Frankenstein fled from his creation in horror.  He abandoned his responsibilities and left his creation to make sense of the complications of his new environment without any outside guidance. This departure from the story of Prometheus is crucial to many of Frankenstein’s themes and questions, such as could Victor be the actual monster of this story?  In comparison to Prometheus, who acted with responsibility rather than fear, Victor seems heartless.  These differences point out the significance that if you plan on overstepping divine laws you must be willing to be accountable for your actions.  Victor is once again seen in a mortal light, unlike the picture that is previously portrayed.

The parallels between Prometheus and Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein are irrefutable.  Prometheus is a story that deals with human responsibility, life and social isolation, which directly relate to the themes that are in Frankenstein.  Though the two differ are some key parts, the intertext only further helps the reader understand and appreciate Frankenstein’s true identity.  The intertextuality of this novel doesn’t just help to create an interesting plot, but it allows the reader to take what is written and develop further ideas through the addition of Prometheus’ story. 

Bibliography

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft.  “Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus.”  Collier
        Books.  New York, 1961.

REFLECTION

For my final paper revision I tried to make a few key changes.  I first tried to refocus my argument in my introduction paragraph.  I felt that originally my argument wasn’t strong or may not have been present at all.  I tried to talk about how my topic (the significance of Prometheus as an intertext) could be seen as just useful toward the plot, but if examined more closely, Prometheus is a key allusion because of the related themes the two stories have.

Next I tried to make sure that all my body paragraphs weren’t just a statement of how the two stories related. This was one of the more difficult parts.  I think I was successful in improving this part of my paper, but I think I could have reexamined a few more things to really stress the “significance” of the allusion and have less of me rehashing the story.  In doing this I tried to make sure that the quotes I included were used successfully to demonstrate the points I was making.  When I first looked over this paper, one quote in particular was positioned at the end of a paragraph and I hadn’t developed whatever point I was trying to make.

Finally, I attempted to have my conclusion come full circle with my paper and restate my thesis, but while still furthering it.  I can’t decide if I was successful in this or not.  I would still like to practice writing better conclusion.  However, whenever writing papers it seems like I run out of things to say or that I state everything I had so my conclusion suffers and becomes completely repetitive.

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Electronic Literature and Its Positive Contributions To Literature

As technology continues to grow at exponential rates, changes in literature and the definitions we give literature have increased. This change has been seen in the increase in popularity of e-books, hypertexts, online texts, etc. The fear that comes with this, as Sven Birkerts argues in his book The Gutenberg Elegies, is that technological influences on literature devalue it. However, as technology and literature become more intertwined, literature becomes more accessible and develops different and better ways to convey ideas to readers. Technology shouldn’t be thought of as a negative thing when it is involved in literature. A completely complementary meshing between these two things has been seen in the electronic literature piece called Inanimate Alice by Kate Pullinger. This type of literature helps show the new positive qualities that technology can bring to future literature. In the electronic work, Inanimate Alice, sound, video, and text were used to tell the story of Alice. Now yes, this book is a children’s story. One might think that because of the nature of this text being a children’s book that it would lack certain characteristics that would allow it to be considered literature. On the contrary this electronic piece of children’s literature would definitely be high-grade literature in my opinion due to the fact of its incorporation of audio and visual stimulation, which comes with it being an electronic narrative. Even though audio and visual features being added to supplement text isn’t normal to literature, it is these characteristics that make these new age implementations of writing unique and engaging. The sounds and video help put the reader in the life of Alice. As you interact with this text you hear music that is culturally relevant to the location of where the story takes place and it also give the reader information of the state of mind of Alice. When the music gets fast paced it signifies excitement or action in the story and when it gets mellow it gives the reader feelings of sadness, calmness, or a feeling of Alice’s contemplation. Experiencing actual sounds like these is something that traditional reading could never truly achieve. Similarly, the videos integrated in this electronic text allow the reader physically see what Alice does in the story instead of having to rely on his/her imagination to interpret purely textual imagery. All of this draws the reader further into the text and actually slows them down when reading. Readers end up actually focusing and contemplating on what is being read because of the audio and visual aspects of the literature are giving them feelings about the text that can’t be achieved in traditional writing. This type of control that the author has over what his readers experience through the use of visual and audio stimulation reminds me of Birkerts contrasting view in which he states how the “lone user can sculpt texts as she wishes, breaking up narratives, arranging lines in diverse patterns, or creating ‘windows’ that allow readers to choose how much information or description they want,” (Birkerts, 160). He’s saying how author’s writing is devalued in the technologic world because readers basically can read an author’s work however they want. Conversely, Inaninmate Alice, serves as a great counter to his outlook. In this hypertext the reader only has limited control on the user experience namely because Kate Pullinger has set up the “rules” concerning what exactly the reader can and cannot do. For example, after each piece of text within in the electronic work you have to click a button to move on to the next section. This shows the reader a clear direction to the text and the story is constantly moving forward. By limiting the actions the user has, the author keeps the control but still allows the reader to immerse into the text. I understand that Birkerts’ argument, regarding how images or other visual stimulation associated with most technological literature could distract readers, does have value. He describes his experience with hypertext as a, “constant interruption—the reading surface was fractured, rendered collagelike by the appearance of starred keywords and suddenly materialized menu boxes,” (162). A great example of how an electronic text could be seen as distracting is in the hypertext The Museum by Adam Kenney. The structure of this hypertext is very complex and the reader could go in circles clicking links trying to find the end of this seemingly endless hypertext. After attempting to read it myself I felt frustrated when I literally couldn’t find my way through the text. This type of hypertext is just an example of a hypertext that goes wrong, and causes a reader to not absorb any part of what the author was trying to originally say. Although I agree with Birkerts to an extent, I think his opinion only can pertain to ineffective hypertexts. However, there are a myriad of powerful hypertexts that take literature to a new level instead of downgrading it. And specifically, Inanimate Alice, as a hypertext uses things like visual and audio aids, which Birkerts would see as a disruption, to convey emotions that regular texts cannot. Hypertexts or other creative electronic forms of text that would be viewed as distractions by some, could be viewed more positively as items that will draw in readers that would have otherwise not been interested with just pure text. Literature is always evolving and this evolution is usually fueled by popular trends. The speculation that this will lead to negative impacts is not completely unrealistic, but the positive attributes that are gained through this evolution outweigh them. With new forms out electronic literature becoming the norm, new ways of grapping a reader’s attention are being created. The fact that these tactics are far from the traditional types of literature doesn’t make them negative. In the future hypertexts could be more popular because of the way they capture audiences so effortlessly. Works Cited Birkerts, Sven. The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading In An Electronic Age. New York Faber and Faber, Inc 1994. Print.

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Prometheus: Intertext In Frankenstein

Prometheus: Intertext In Frankenstein

Shelly’s Frankenstein explores the themes that are expressed in the Greek myths regarding Prometheus.  This intertext is made evident before the first sentence of the novel even begins; it is included in the subtitle of the book: Frankenstein or a Modern Prometheus.  Because of this early mention of Prometheus directly in the title, the significance that this intertext will have on the entire novel is obvious. The intertextual moments are important because it serves as the foundation to most of the story and plot that Shelley delivers in Frankenstein and it highlights and extends Victor’s character by relating him to Prometheus.

The parallels that are seen between Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein are exposed as soon as the Victor’s narrative begins.  The first chapter describes the type of family that Victor grew up with.  His lineage was portrayed as being one of the most distinguished from the republic of Geneva.  Victor’s ancestors had been “for many years counsellors and syndics; and [his] father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation” (Shelley Ch. 1).  This type of upbringing closely relates to the upbringing Prometheus had.  Prometheus was the son of the Titan, Iapetus and Clymene.  Raised with the gods, he like Victor was brought up in a world of power, knowledge, and wealth.

Additionally, the correlation between these two grows further as Victor’s narrative continues and he describes his youth and his increasing desire for godly knowledge.  This intertext is crucial in allowing the reader to see Victors true character in the relation he has to Prometheus.  Prometheus is well known in Greek mythology to have been extremely passionate for knowledge.  He was taught mathematics, architecture, metalworking, writing, astronomy, navigation, and much more by the goddess Athena after helping to free her from Zeus.  Frankenstein says, “The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember” ().  This clearly shows his passion for learning, which he took to the University of Ingolstadt, where he was a slave to his schoolwork.  This type of work relates immensely to that of Prometheus.

This unquenchable thirst for knowledge also led to the ability for both Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein to create life.  Victor had the notion and desire to be like God and discovering the secrets to life and death.  During his years at Ingolstadt, he devoted himself to this cause.  After failing many times he finally succeeds by sending a bolt of lightning into his creature, as if he were a god.  Likewise, Prometheus was the creator of mankind.  He brought forth man from molded clay and in this action is comparable to Victor.  Both of them defied higher powers in their quest for knowledge and overreached unwritten boundaries.  Both were also seeking some type of worship from their creations, “a new species would bless me as its creator and source many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me,” exclaimed Victor.

These parallels seen in the story are significant in how they help to illuminate Victor’s character and allow a reader who knows the story of Prometheus to relate with him on a higher level.  The analogous elements in Frankenstein signal to the reader clues as to what will happen with Victor later on in the story after the creation of his monster.   Because Frankenstein mirrors Prometheus, Victor’s downfall is expected. Prometheus defies Zeus by tricking him for the betterment of mankind and by stealing fire from Zeus after it was prohibited.  As punishment, Zeus chains Prometheus to a rock and has his liver eaten daily by an eagle and it grows back to be devoured again the next day.  This correlates to Victor’s own never ending downfall that comes in the deaths of everyone he’s close too. Prometheus’ isolation and deep distress he suffers emphasizes Victor’s mirrored situation.

In addition to highlighting the features of Victor that relate with Prometheus, the intertext also accentuates Victor’s differences with Prometheus.  After creating mankind Prometheus fought for his creations.  He attempted to better their lives and give them hope by nurturing them, teaching them mathematics, architecture, metalworking, and many other useful skills.  Contrary to Prometheus who acted responsibly after creating man, Victor Frankenstein fled from his creation in horror.  He abandoned his responsibilities and left his creation to make sense of the complications of his new environment without any outside guidance. This departure from the story of Prometheus is crucial to many of Frankenstein’s themes and therefore is significant to show how overstepping divine laws takes someone who is willing to be accountable for their actions.

The parallels between Prometheus and Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein are irrefutable.  Prometheus is a story that deals with human responsibility, life and social isolation, which directly relate to the themes that are in Frankenstein.  Though the two differ are some key parts, the intertext only further helps the reader determine Frankenstein’s true identity.  The intertextuality of this novel allows the reader to take what is written and take it further with the story of Prometheus.  Because this novel allows you to do this explains why Shelley gave her novel the subtitle of a Modern Prometheus.

 

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Reading and Its Significance (Final)

Reading and Its Significance

Like most children, in my earlier years of grade school, I can remember being forced to read certain books for  classes and never getting anything out of them.  For me, the significance that comes from reading never came from a required scholastic novel or textbook.  Instead I found significance in books that personally entertained me and opened my mind to new ideas or helped me gain knowledge on a certain interest of mine; technology heavily and positively influenced both of these qualities.

As a young child I grew up reading books mainly to show off the fact that I could read.  I was a big Dr. Suess fan and thereby had worn down all the pages in books such as Cat In the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Whorton Hears a Who.  This satisfaction I got from reading just-because-I could, later grew and developed into an interest in the actual plots of books.   One of my favorite book series from my childhood was the Harry Potter series.  I found this type of book so appealing because of its exploration of magic, fantasy, and otherworld like experiences.  My brother and I found these books .  We would fight over which one of us would get to read the newest addition to the series first until we finally worked out an alternating system.  This type of book opened up my sense of imagination, which led me to another love, art.  Art has become a big part of my life now as an adult, and reading at an early age helped me explore my own imagination and find drawing and painting as a way to express myself.

This sense of imagination that sprung from reading has also grown into an escape for me in the present.  Books help to provide a getaway from the stress  that I deal with from school, parents, and friends.  Whenever I read, I do it to get away from my own life.  Books take me to other places and to other people, and they let me think about the protagonist’s problems and drama, allowing me to leave mine behind.  I normally find myself lifting my head up from a book and I get the feeling that I have been watching a movie in my head the entire time.  Books have so much more detail and characters so much richer than movies can ever be; and because of this, it is that much easier for me to escape into them.

Contrastingly to the books I read for entertainment, I would also occasionally read computer books about game design, computer graphics, or programming in order to teach myself new things regarding the things that interest me most.  I grew up in a family of computer and technology enthusiasts; my grandfather taught computer classes and my dad just enjoyed always having the newest and fastest personal computers you could get.  Growing in this type of atmosphere, led me to my own interest and love for computers, and this love grew into a quest for knowledge.  Unfortunately for me, my high school was never able to teach me the things that I wanted to know; therefore, I was forced to go out on my own and teach myself.  Through books such as HTML For Dummies, Game Programming for Teens, and Computer Art Explained and even through Internet searches, which provided tutorials to read, I was able to acquire the knowledge I most desired.

I strongly feel that technology and reading correlate greatly because my interest in computers and how I gained my knowledge was through books and text on the Internet.  Technology helps bring reading and knowledge to people in a quicker and more sufficient way; consequently, I disagree with Birkerts’ thoughts regarding the technological advancement of this world having negative effects on reading.  Birkerts states that “what the writer writes, how he writes and gets edited, printed and sold, and then read—all of the old assumptions are under siege” (Birkerts 5).  I counter that these changes that Birkerts is so upset about are all positive.  Word processing programs allow writers to more easily construct their works, and they allow editors to more easily do their job at much faster rates.

Technology sparked my interest at an early age; and as a result of my fascination, I went to books to discover new information about it.  Technology and reading can go hand in hand and one does not have to stifle the other.  A great example of this is the creation of e-books.  Now that books have become digitalized more people can read at the click of a button is they so desire.  This gets more books out into the world; therefore, more people will be reading.  As a user of e-books, and have definitely seen an increase of reading interest in myself now that I use them.  Another great example of people reading more due to technology is the invention of Google.  Google is used numerous times a day, and each search provides a user with immense amounts of information to read.  This searching technology also contributes to the amount people are learning because many people are reading and learning from articles they find through Google.  In no way am I able to perceive any negative side affects to these types of literary changes.

My life has greatly been affected by reading; I feel that reading is in part responsible for shaping the person I am today, especially regarding my fields of interest.  Through reading I discovered my passion for art and extending my passion and knowledge for computers and technology.  Reading would not have been a significant part of my life had it not been for technology giving me access to all that I have read.

 

Work Cited

Birkerts, Stev. The Gutenberg Elegies. New York: Faber and Faber, Inc, 1994. Print.

 

 

I feel that this essay is strongest where I am talking about technology and my opinion regarding it versus Birkerts’ opinion.  I would like to have improved the relationship between my other points regarding entertainment and gaining knowledge for personal interest.

I pledge my honor that I have completed this work in accordance with the Honor Code.

 

 

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Reading and Its Significance

My project is to show what I feel is significant in reading (mainly the entertainment and learning factors), and then relate them to technology and how I feel that they coincide. I feel like my argument regarding technology and how it helps and contributes to the world of reading is strong.  I feel that my introduction and conclusion definitely need work, as well as my details that I will be using from Birkerts.  Since last draft I have worked on making my focus more clear.

Reading and Its Significance

Throughout my life, especially when I was younger, reading has always been significant to me for the entertainment factor that I received by reading and the knowledge I gained.

As a young child I grew up reading books mainly to show off the fact that I could read.  I was a big Dr. Suess fan and thereby had worn down all the pages in books such as Cat In the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Whorton Hears a Who.  This satisfaction I got from reading just-because-I could, later grew and developed into an interest in the actual plots of books.   One of my favorite book series from my childhood was the Harry Potter series.  I found this type of book so appealing because of its exploration of magic, fantasy, and otherworld like experiences.  These books were so precious to my brother and me.  We would fight over which one of us would get to read the newest addition to the series first until we finally worked out an alternating system.  This type of book opened up my sense of imagination, which led me to another love, art.  Art has become a big part of my life now as an adult, and reading at an early age helped me explore my own imagination and find drawing and painting as a way to express myself.

This sense of imagination that sprung from reading has also grown into an escape for me in the present.  With all the stress that I deal with from school, parents, and friends, books help to provide a getaway from that stress.  Whenever I read, I do it to get away from my own life.  Books take me to other places and to other people, and they let me think about the protagonist’s problems and drama, which allows me to leave mine behind.  I normally find myself lifting my head up from a book and I get the feeling that I have been watching a movie in my head the entire time.  Books have so much more detail and characters so much richer than movies can ever be; and because of this, it is that much easier for me to escape into them.

Contrastingly to the books I read for entertainment, I would also occasionally read computer books about game design, computer graphics, or programming in order to teach myself new things regarding the things that interest me most.  I grew up in a family of computer and technology enthusiasts; my grandfather taught computer classes and my dad just enjoyed always having the newest and fastest personal computers you could get.  Growing in this type of atmosphere, led me to my own interest and love for computers, and this love grew into a quest for knowledge.  Unfortunately for me, my high school was never able to teach me the things that I wanted to know; therefore, I was forced to go out on my own and teach myself.  Through books such as HTML For Dummies, Game Programming for Teens, and Computer Art Explained and even through Internet searches, which provided tutorials to read, I was able to acquire the knowledge I most desired.

Because of my interest in computers and how I gained my knowledge through books and text on the Internet, I strongly feel that technology and reading correlate greatly.  Technology helps bring reading and knowledge to people in a quicker and more sufficient way; consequently, I disagree with Birkerts thoughts regarding the technological advancement of this world having negative effects on reading.  Technology is what sparked my first interest, and as a result of my fascination I went to books to discover new information about it.  Technology and reading can go hand in hand and one does not have to stifle the other.  A great example of this is the creation of e-books.  Now that books have become digitalized more people can read at the click of a button is they so desire.  This gets more books out into the world; therefore, more people are reading.  I am a user of ebooks, and have definitely seen an increase of reading interest in myself now that I use them.  Another great example of people reading more due to technology is the invention of Google.  I use Google numerous times in a day, and in each search I am reading.  When I find what I’m looking for, an article perhaps, I am also reading that and gaining knowledge from that.  In no way am I able to perceive and negative side affects to this.

My life has greatly been affected by reading; I feel that reading is in part responsible for shaping the person I am today, especially regarding my fields of interest.  Through reading I discover my passion for art and extending my passion and knowledge for computers and technology.  Reading would not have been a significant part of my life had it not been for technology giving me access to all that I have read.

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Birkerts Autobiographical Argument?

In this chapter of Birkerts’ Gutenberg Elegies, he describes his history with reading and writing and how his experiences at a younger age formed the writer/reader that he is today.  He grew up with a mother who loved to read and had two grandfathers, both on his father’s side, who were literary.  Birkerts exclaims that his ability and interest in writing grew outward from his love of reading.  His description of reading shows how much it influenced him since reading for him stopped the world around him.

Compared to the first chapter, this chapter came across as if I was reading a novel.  This unexpected approach came as a nice surprise and was much more compelling than his other style that was first used.  However, his first chapter seemed to have a clear argument and point to the chapter as a whole, and this chapter lacked that.  Without having finished the entire chapter, I am left wondering whether Birkerts will bring this chapter to a close with a clear point for this autobiographical chapter.

But without the point clear to me, I come to the conclusion that he is setting up this chapter as support for his book’s overall point regarding technology and its negative effects on reading and writing.  This seems plausible since his entire autobiological story centers on reading and writing and the ‘magic’ it had on his life.  Every additional description he gives seems to further explore his physical relationship with books and how it positively propelled his life.  When he finds an old bookstore that others wouldn’t give a second glance to he describes it as if he had found gold.  These types of recounts seem to perfectly support his overall argument.

Assuming that he is using this chapter as supporting evidence for his main argument, I would like to counter it with an idea that others can have the same type of experiences with learning and possibly reading/writhing without the need to have a physical relationship with books, but instead a relationship with technology.

Growing up I would say that I had somewhat the same experiences as Birkerts had with books, but I had mine with computers.  My father was the one who had great interest for them and my mom thought it was a waste of time; my grandfather on my Dad’s side even had a technological background as a computer teacher.  So like Birkerts, my interest could have sprung from my family’s interest.  I remember sitting on the computer and started out playing video games like most early computer enthusiasts, which correlates with Birkerts’ description of his early reading experiences.  This early fascination grew into obsession.  Now I am in college majoring in Computer Science.  Technology played a huge role in my passion for learning and it even helped me learn when I was able to search the Internet for explanations, tutorials, and especially e-books that covered everything I wanted to teach myself.

I understand Birkerts point of view, but I feel that it is flawed.  He is purely influenced by his history with reading and the physical relationship he had with books.  I had my physical relationship with computers, but I still understand the importance of physical books, and I’m not trying to prove how computers should replace them.  Just because he grew up loving to read books doesn’t mean someone couldn’t grow just as passionately from reading news articles on the web, e-books, or user created blogs.

 

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Glog – Jan 28

Graff describes hidden intellectualism as the type of intelligence that doesn’t includes book smarts. It is the type of intellect that one acquires from playing sports, reading magazines, social relationships, fashion, TV, etc.  Graff argues that this type of intellect is neglected in the school atmosphere and is seen as something that can’t contribute to one gaining academic intellect.  His point is that combining this hidden intellect in a student’s curriculum can help.  Through “street smarts” a person learns argumentation and Graff feels that this argumentation can be formed into intellectual argumentation if teachers would draw students in by including a students own “street smarts”.

To some extent I would consider myself a hidden intellectual.  While growing up, working with computers was always an important part of my life.  I was able teach myself digital literacy at an early age and have applied this digital knowledge to almost every aspect of my academic experience.  My interest for computers grew from a source of entertainment into an interest for learning the academic respects of computers.  This interest led me to my major of computer science.  Graff seems to feel that “hidden intellectualism” includes conflict and argumentation; however, in my experience, conflict did not seem to play much of a role in my hidden intellectualism.  My hidden intellectualism just naturally fell into place with my academic intellect.  Does this mean I’m not a hidden intellectual according to Graff?  Is conflict the only thing that bridges hidden intellect and academic intellect according to Graff?  If so I disagree with him.

 

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