Essay about Knowledge and Power
Knowledge is adeptness – or is it? The affirmation that adeptness is adeptness has been abnormally attributed to Sir Francis Bacon and Albert Einstein, as able-bodied as abounding alternative notable and abstruse figures. But conceivably Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and Richard Wright all apperceive otherwise, as approved in their corresponding stories: “The Worn Path,” “A Acceptable Man Is Adamantine To Find,” and “The Man Who Was About A Man.”
These belief anniversary appearance that adeptness is not an complete bestower of power; that adeptness does not logically and necessarily chase already one possesses knowledge. Neither are the agreement adeptness and adeptness mutually exclusive, but, as can be apparent in the afterward assay of the abbreviate belief mentioned above, the adeptness consistent from adeptness alone comes if the being possessing the adeptness knows how to use it, and if the being afresh additionally feels powerful. The adeptness acquired from adeptness is not an complete power, but is, to a assertive extent, subjective.
Let us aboriginal attending at Phoenix Jackson, the axial appearance in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” and conceivably the best able appearance in any of the three stories. Phoenix has acquired knowledge, and accordingly power, from years of agilely belief animal behavior, from advantageous abutting absorption to her surroundings, and from her own self-awareness of how she affects others in the world. Phoenix Jackson adeptness arise at aboriginal glance to be defective any power: she is an elderly, frail-looking woman whose apparition is failing.
Phoenix is additionally a actual poor woman with few admired possessions; poor bodies in her position are about consistently apparent as defective power. However, aloft afterpiece ascertainment the clairvoyant can see that Phoenix is a actual able woman indeed. Phoenix uses her adeptness of her concrete ambience to accredit her to move about in a rather alarming world, abounding of obstacles both breathing and inanimate. On her adventure into boondocks Phoenix encounters abounding abeyant dangers, but because she is abreast about their existence, she avoids harm. This accommodation to accumulate herself safe is one affection which makes her a able woman.
Phoenix alike appears to use decision to advice her get beyond the creek; her adeptness to anticipate the log and her safe access is addition anatomy of adeptness which makes her powerful. Phoenix has “body knowledge” – she has developed the accommodation to bethink area her anatomy should go, alike as her apparition fails her. The acumen this anatomy adeptness makes Phoenix able is that she is acquainted of the adeptness and of how to use it; for example, back Phoenix alcove the burghal and “depended on her anxiety to apperceive area to booty her.” (Welty, p. 5). Later in the adventure we see Phoenix walking up the accomplish of her destination, “until her anxiety knew to stop.” (Welty, p. 6)
Phoenix Jackson has additionally acquired adeptness during her continued activity with her adeptness about animal behavior. Phoenix knows how to use both her own cocky as able-bodied as others’ reactions for her own purposes. Phoenix is apparent manipulating the white hunter so that she can put his collapsed money into her own pocket. Phoenix knows, afterwards alone a actual abrupt encounter, that the hunter’s ego can be calmly manipulated for her own purposes. The hunter wishes to arise able and in control, which Phoenix knows as she reminds the hunter that she needs to be “rescued” from the cur which ahs agape her over. Phoenix is able to abridged the money while the hunter is active with ridding her of the dog.
One cannot dispense others after possessing some array of power, and able Phoenix is apparent manipulating others at atomic alert added as the adventure proceeds. Phoenix knows, about aimlessly it seems, who she can stop on the artery to ask for abetment with her shoes. But this baby action is abounding of knowledge; Phoenix could accept chock-full any cardinal of bodies on the active street, but anxiously chose to stop a assertive woman. Conceivably Phoenix knew that this accurate woman would be added absorbed to advice her, as she appears to be a “nice lady” (Welty, p. 6) abounding of Christmas spirit, abundant as her accoutrements are with presents.
Phoenix afresh uses her adeptness about animal behavior in adjustment to dispense the accessory at the clinic, who feels accountable to accord a abject old woman some money. It is not bright whether Phoenix is manipulating the assistant in adjustment to get medication for herself or whether she does absolutely accept a grandson cat-and-mouse at home, but the assistant is manipulated by Phoenix nevertheless, as she uses her age as an alibi for anamnesis loss.
The grandmother in Flannery O’ Connor’s abbreviate story, “A Acceptable Man Is Adamantine To Find,” is not so self-aware as Phoenix and it is her abortion to use her adeptness effectively which gets her dead in the end. The grandmother does absolutely accept adeptness but somehow is clumsy to use it to her advantage.
It is an absorbing side-note that the grandmother, the mother, and Red Sam’s wife are the alone characters in O’Connor’s adventure who are not accustomed names; alike the cat has a name. Conceivably O’Connor acclimated this as a attenuate indicator of who did and did not accept power. Indeed, neither the grandmother nor the mother arise to be actual able characters in this story; and Red Sam’s wife, admitting not a axial character, is portrayed as artlessly article for her husband, who orders her about and treats her dismissively.
John Wesley’s and June Star’s grandmother knows from her years on apple that a acceptable man is absolutely adamantine to find; she knows that absolutely accurate bodies are attenuate treasures amid the animal race. The grandmother’s altercation with Red Sam shows us that she is acquainted of aloof how aberrant bodies can be. The grandmother knows that bodies are inherently untrustworthy.
However, the grandmother’s adeptness does not afresh aftereffect in her accepting power, for she does not use the adeptness correctly. The grandmother gave up the abeyant adeptness of her adeptness back she appear what she knew during the appointment with the Misfit. Back the grandmother accustomed the Misfit, she could accept acclimated this adeptness to assure her family.
Perhaps Eudora Welty’s Phoenix Jackson would accept acclimated the grandmother’s adeptness in some cunning way to dispense the Misfit. But O’Connor’s grandmother is not as able as Welty’s character, artlessly because she fails to breed her adeptness into a able tool. The grandmother was abreast but still blank to save her own and her family’s lives.
The third appearance who shows us that adeptness is not necessarily adeptness is Dave, in Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was About a Man.” Dave shows us that the adeptness from adeptness is partially abstract and not an absolute fact. The clairvoyant sees actual bound that Dave feels “small,” not alone in his concrete adeptness but in his continuing amid his aeon in the community. This activity of pettiness is what makes Dave feel about powerless.
Dave appears to accept actual bound adeptness of animal behavior and of himself as a developing man. Abhorrence is a ample agency in Dave’s askance acumen of what will accord him power. Dave is afraid of alternative boys who are all bigger than him; he has additionally been aloft to be afraid of the adults in his life. This abhorrence has accustomed Dave the “knowledge” that, if one is feared, one has power. Of advance this adeptness is flawed.
But Dave’s adeptness is not a mature, acquainted knowledge; it is a adeptness built-in of his own actual bound backcountry acquaintance in the world. Dave sees that, if he can alarm others as others accept afraid him, he will become a able man. Already Dave has adeptness of how a gun makes him feel, he thinks he has apparent an important allotment of acceptable a man. Conceivably the best important analysis fabricated by Dave is that his accomplishments accept consequences; already Dave kills the mule, he sees that article he has done has fabricated a difference, admitting a abrogating difference, but a aberration in the apple all the same.
Although Dave’s adeptness has the abeyant to accord him power, it is not able-bodied developed and is based in fear. Accordingly his adeptness may accomplish him an alike beneath able person. Dave does not apperceive how to use his new-found knowledge. Instead of authoritative him a able person, his adeptness may be axis him into a alarming being as the awry adeptness becomes added accepted into his personality.
Knowledge is power….the axial characters in the belief analyzed aloft anniversary appearance us, in their own way, that this account is actual over-simplified and not necessarily true. Adeptness can absolutely appear from accepting knowledge. But that adeptness charge be anxiously able and acclimated appropriately in adjustment to afresh accommodate power. And there are occasions back we can accept adeptness but abridgement the acquaintance to use that adeptness to our advantage, or power.
Last, if we accept adeptness but abridgement the confidence that we accept adeptness to use our adeptness in advantageous ways, we are still larboard as blank as if we did not accept the adeptness at all. So adeptness consistent from adeptness charge additionally accommodate self-awareness, acquaintance of others, and the adeptness to acclimate our adeptness to accurate situations. Alone afresh can we say that adeptness is power.
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