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The One and Future King
In The One and Future King by T.H. White the main character, Arthur, learns many important lessons. He is taught many of these lessons by animals. For instance, he learns that "might is right" (White 47) from a fish (which turns out to be false), that ants live dictated lives devoted to war (121), that owls only kill another animal if they are starving (69), and a badger teaches him the story of man's creation (168). One of the most important lessons Arthur learns is from a goose, who tells him of a perfect society.
When Merlyn turns Wart (Arthur's nickname) into a goose, another goose named Lyok Lyok teaches him about the lives of geese. Wart migrates with the geese and talks to them. He finds out that geese are very peaceful animals; they do not fight with each other, they share any food that they acquire, and each bird only has one nest (172).
This greatly affects Wart because it is so different from humans. He still thinks that he likes war, but then begins to notice how many bad effects war has. Wart starts to question his initial gut-feeling that war is right and necessary. This also allows Arthur to have a more open mind towards other animals' lifestyles.
This lesson is also important to me, the reader, because it makes me feel that war is not necessary. If other animals have the ability to live peacefully, so should humans. It enforces the idea that people should be kind to one another. It also opens the eyes of readers by letting them get to know the lifestyle habits of other animals and causing them to be accepting.
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Through the many lessons that Wart learns, readers may believe that the lesson learned from the geese is most important. Wart begins to realize that not all animals fight against each other. Readers also realize that war is not always necessary. Through these many observations, it is believed that when Wart is turned into a goose he learns the most important lesson of them all; how to live in peace.