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Silence Throughout "Under the Net"

Powerful Essays
According to Wittgenstein, “Only in silence can one remain in truth.” Constant events and running around hinder an individual from finding the truth or the individual is somehow ignoring the facts that surround them. This idea can be related to Jake Donaghue in Iris Murdoch’s first published novel. Jake, a character who wanders with no aspirations to the homes of friends looking for the easy way, in time comes to realize what life is about. He struggles with the idea of silence and truth merging together hand in hand. Throughout Under the Net by Iris Murdoch, Jake is challenged by the silence of people and events that surround him. This allows him to ultimately overcome this net barrier to find his true calling in life to become a successful writer.

In efforts to become a successful writer, Jake wrote a book that was based on his conversations with Hugo, a friend he met in an experiment with the common cold. After discussing such deep ideas with Hugo, “He publishes them in a book he calls The Silencer, an ironic little twist, seeing that the book is a conversation about the truth,” (Hart 2). Jake struggles with the truth because he does not understand it needs to be expressed in a certain way, most difficult with words. It is essential for it to be expressed through silence, an arduous task for a writer to document. Jake’s book, however deep into theories, flops in the bookstores and not many have read it. In an excerpt from the book, “If by expressing a theory you mean that someone else could make a theory about what you do, of course that is true and uninteresting. What I speak of is the real decision as we experience it; and here the movement away from theory and generality is the movement towards the truth” (Murd...

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