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The Meanings and Concepts of Quality in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Robert Pirsig is an author who focuses on philosophical works, his most prominent being Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. In this book, Pirsig writes about himself, his multiple personalities, and his son, Chris. The foundation of this book is his relationship with Chris and how he hopes to repair any damages between them. In his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig explores the meaning and concepts of Quality through the use of chautauquas and various literary techniques.
Robert Pirsig is an author who focuses on philosophical works. His most prominent novel is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. His main concern in this book is the topic of Quality. He questions Quality and addresses how it has affected his life and everyone’s life in general. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig explores the meaning and concepts of Quality and attempts to define it.
According to Merriam-Webster, quality is defined as how good or bad something is. This applies to all things such as a computer, food, and even life. However, Pirsig goes beyond the superficial and explores the true meaning of Quality.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, there are multiple narrators: Phaedrus, Pirsig, and the narrator himself. Phaedrus is a past figure of Pirsig who is a professor of writing at a college. He becomes engrossed and driven to discover what defines what is good, or Quality. While Phaedrus pursues Quality, Pirsig appears to have deemed it as undefinable. According to him, to truly experience Quality, one must embrace and apply it to their situation as best as possible. When one is able to do this, it becomes easier to avoid the frustrations that plague many people...


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...apply it to their lives as best as possible. Yes, Pirsig does provide a definition, however Quality is something that one must discover alone.



Works Cited

Crusius, Tim. "In Praise of Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
Western Speech Communication 40.3 (1976): 168-77. Communication and Mass
Media Complete. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

Gross, Beverly. "A Mind Divided against Itself: Madness in 'Zen and the Art of
Motorcycle Maintenance.'" The Journal of Narrative Technique 14.3 (1984):
201-13. JSTOR. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into
Values. New York: HarperTorch, 1974. Print.

Rodino, Richard H. "The Matrix of Journeys in 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance.'" The Journal of Narrative Technique 11.1 (1981): 56-63.
JSTOR. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.



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