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The Literate Arts Are Not Needed: They Are Wanted

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An illiterate person can be successful and live a productive life, a high school dropout can make a respectable wage, a person with a college education can be underemployed, and many people with doctorates who are unemployed. The literate arts do not guarantee success and money. What the literate arts do offer a person, are tools that make gaining knowledge and wisdom easier, both during and after their formal education. The gaining of this knowledge and wisdom offers other tools that make success easier – whatever success may be. If and how these tools (which are acquired through the literate arts) are used is entirely up to the individual.

Communication is how we exchange information between people. Three major things that the literate arts teach us is how to read, write, and speak – how to communicate. In the essay “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education,” Paulo Freire says, “only through communication can human life hold meaning” (322). The literate arts are not needed for us to communicate; however, they can make communication easier and more effective. We learn to talk at an early age well before we learn to read and write, but the communication skills of children are less refined. Toddlers will make sentences using the important words while skipping other. They are able to get their point across with sentences like “me hungry.” They use body language, but with their limited communication skills they are not always able to express their feelings and emotions. Toddlers will get frustrated easily because they are not able to express their feelings, even before they know what feelings and frustrations are. The literate arts give us tools that help us to better understand what we are reading. They can teach us to bett...

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... achieve greater knowledge and wisdom. How and if the tools are used is ultimately up to the individual.

Works Cited

Freire, Paulo. “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 318-28. Print.

Miller, Richard E. “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 420-42. Print.

Pratt, Mary Louise. “Arts of the Contact Zone.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 485-97. Print.

Rodriguez, Richard. “The Achievement of Desire.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 515-32. Print.
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