Why Read by Mark Edmunson

Why Read by Mark Edmunson

Length: 1244 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Why Read by Mark Edmunson
I really kind of got sucked into "Why Read" by Mark Edmunson by surprise, literary criticism is not my fortes, and I've never really fully understood the critical approach properly enough to get a good cohesive paper written. I also was drawn in by the author's suggestion that literature can be a new religion, a religion of sorts I could really believe in. I was also intrigued by his comments on modern pop culture. And then, on a plus side, it is a short book.
I personally like how the book is open and an easier read than other books I have picked up on literary criticism. He talk about the humanities field is a more normal sense, like when you have a teacher that talks to you as a person and not just a student. Gives you that boost of confidence that makes you feel that the teacher sees you as an equal.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Why Read by Mark Edmunson." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Consumerism And Education By Mark Edmundson Essay

- Matthew Wallace Emma Hendershot English 2010 1/26/15 Consumerism and Education At many universities changes are happening every day for students. According to a 1997 article in Harper’s Magazine by Mark Edmundson titled On the Uses of a Liberal Education, universities are changing due to consumerism affecting the education system. A professor of English at the University of Virginia. In the article, Edmundson says his overall point is that the consumer ethos is winning (Edmundson 50). The setting of this discussion involves the academic setting of the classroom that Mark Edmundson teaches in....   [tags: Education, University, Higher education]

Research Papers
1252 words (3.6 pages)

Book Censorship: Free to Read Essay examples

- “Censorship is the strongest drive in human nature; sex is a weak second”, are the wise and powerful words of Phil Kerby, former editor of the Los Angeles Times (About Banned and Challenged Books). People love to control other people. One of the most widespread ways of accomplishing this is by gaining power over what another individual can or cannot read. This very essay has the potential to not be seen by the eyes of another because someone could deem it unsuitable for their standards. Kerby explains just how powerful the need to censor is with a riveting comparison between two things humans crave....   [tags: prohibit, read, books]

Research Papers
672 words (1.9 pages)

The Uses Of A Liberal Education By Mark Edmundson Essay

- In recent years, under the combined force of technological innovation and market operation, our society has made remarkable progress in improving the quality of education. Universities as the major institutions of higher education are inevitably impacted by the social advancement. In his essay, “On the Uses of a Liberal Education,” Mark Edmundson argues that “university culture, like American culture writ large, is, to put it crudely, ever more devoted to consumption and entertainment, to the using and using up of goods and images” (44)....   [tags: University, Higher education, Education, College]

Research Papers
1552 words (4.4 pages)

Analysis Of Mark Edmundson 's Article On The Uses Of A Liberal Education

- Mark Edmundson’s Essay, On the uses of a liberal education, links a fundamental systemic flaw in post-modern education, a lack of student desire to learn, both about personal and the worldly, through study, education, self betterment, and reflection, with American Consumerism. Edmundson does so by depicting the students as customers; shopping for the easiest, highest ranking, and most “entertaining” return on their investment. However, Edmundson places too high a degree of blame on Millennial Consumerist Culture, rather than examining where this desire for a monetary return on investment stems stems from originally....   [tags: Higher education, Education, College, High school]

Research Papers
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis Of Mark Edmundson 's ' I Resonated With Me Essay

- Summarization Mark Edmundson’s essay really resonated with me. His essay “On the Uses of a Liberal Education,” explains that at Universities, college students and teachers who are at these universities, focus on how much the students like the classes, rather than the information found in the class. For example, he explains this when mentions giving his students the course evaluations. Some of the comments were, “the teacher was interesting”, or, “he was funny”. Not one student commented on the information they got in the class....   [tags: Education, High school, College, University]

Research Papers
1053 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of Mark Edmundson 's The Neoliberal Arts Essay

- Higher education has continued to evolve just as society has in its accessibility and purpose in surviving its students. In Mark Edmundson’s On the uses of a liberal education: 1. as lite entertainment for bored college students, he discusses how consumer culture has turned every aspect of higher education into a buyer’s market which students feed into. William Deresiewicz’s The Neoliberal Arts: How college sold its should to the market expands on this idea from the 90’s through a modern interpretation....   [tags: Higher education, University, Education, College]

Research Papers
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh

-       After reading Deaf Again I learned a lot of new things about Deaf culture and was drawn in by the story of Mark Drolsbaugh. "The hardest fight a man has to fight is to live in a world where every single day someone is trying to make you someone you do not want to be" e.e cummings. I was brought into the book immediately from this quote and realized how difficult it must have been for Mark to find his identity. He was trying to hang on to his hearing in fear of going deaf as if there was something wrong or not proper with being deaf....   [tags: Deaf Again, Mark Drolsbaugh]

Research Papers
717 words (2 pages)

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Essay

- The Metamorphosis Of a Larva into a Butterfly “It is not a boy's book, at all. It will only be read by adults. It is only written for adults.” -------- Mark Twain 1.The brief introduction about Mark Twain Mark Twain, the pen name of Samuel Clemens---America's most famous literary icon----was born in the small town of Florida on Nov. 30, 1835. He is a mastermind of humor and realism, is seen as a giant in world literature. His humor had great impact on the following men of letters....   [tags: Mark Twain Tom Sawyer]

Free Essays
1677 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Is Huck Finn a masterpiece or an insult. That is the question asked by many parents, teachers, and scholars. When "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was first published, it seemed doomed from the start. With a hero who lies, steals, and uses rough language, parents thought "Huck Finn," as it is commonly called, would corrupt young children....   [tags: Twain Mark Huck Finn]

Free Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn Essay example

- Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn No one who has read the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain can deny not seeing the faults of the civilized world that Twain so critically satires. This element of the novel plays the perfect backdrop to the thing Twain uses to compare civilization with: The ideal way of living. Every time the main characters Huck and Jim are away from the influences of the civilized world, Twain’s vision of the ideal way of living reveals itself to the reader....   [tags: Mark Twain Huck Finn Essays]

Research Papers
797 words (2.3 pages)

Related Searches

He goes on to talk about how students today want entertainment from everything all the time. A good example of this is the Chevy commercial that shows either a lunchroom or a school bus with unruly kids and the teacher pulls down a DVD player from the ceiling and all the kids quiet and are enthralled. Edmunson continues on talking about how schools have to work around this new entertainment driven society or how the author puts it a more consumer driven society.
At the same time the point is brought up on how the English department as a whole has to almost market themselves as a fun major to take because the enrollees in the English majors is on a decline. Edmunson points out that in 1968 more than 21 percent of all bachelor degrees in America were humanities degrees; by 1993 that same total had fallen to 13 percent, and continues to fall. His next topic in response to this is one that I am personally conflicted on. He talks on how the humanities department has loosened up in order to draw in more students to the degrees. For instance losing up the grading system and relaxing on the requirements to earn the major. As a student I can't help but to admit I like it but at the same time I don't think that is right. As much as I want an easy grade, I want to be challenged. Getting an easy grade is great but you don't learn as much as you would have if you had to work harder for the grade.
He then brings in his take on religion, making a point to talk about the University of Virginia at which he teaches. Talking about how the university's founder, Thomas Jefferson, had at one time had book in the great rotunda of the school and looked to those books as his deities, so to speak. He described them as Jefferson's deities, invested with powers of transport and transformation equal to anything the great gods possessed. As much as I believe in a higher power I really liked how the author wrote this. Literature as a whole has a way of taking you many places as well as teaching you many lessons you may not realize at an initial reading.
He continues on bring up the subject of reading for truth and how absurd it sounds. He also explains that people read for truth because that the truth that we come to in society is not enough for us that we need to read to try and find a truth that we can believe in. He presents that that is why people go to literature and enter into the humanities major is to find the truth that fits them on a more personal level. And the way to find this truth is in the painters, poets, composers, novelists and historians. Taking the major and delving into the various arts that are presented there, gives the student another chance to find that universal truth that they believe and missed the first time around. Edmunson's description of society and how we come to make certain assumptions is what keeps me interested in this book. It is a fresh outlook, in my opinion, that to have an author and better yet a professor himself talk about literature and the humanities like this.
He then moves on to talk about what literary criticism ought to do when it looks at a text. The question a valuable critic should bring up when looking at a text, he claims, is the question "What is life?" Freud was the one that brought up that question after seeing it in Shakespeare's works. Edmunson claims that the valuable critic is one who brings forth the philosophy of life latent in major works of art and imagination. He continues on saying that the critic takes the authors wisdom and presents it to the judgment of the world. This is a great view of how we should look at a text when critiquing it considering that there are many critics out there who do what Edmunson says puts writers into their historical contexts which as a reader you tend to do anyways.
The next thing that the author talks about that peaked my interest was how he talked about the teaching style he is proposing in his text. Edmunson said on page 84 "The classroom I am describing is a free space, one where people can speak their innermost thoughts and bring what is dark to light." This is a classroom ideal that I think a lot more teachers are adopting, in my opinion, from my times in three different universities. From what I observed over the years, is that Edmunson's classroom is on a slow progression into reality. More and more teachers are opening their classroom to more of a discussion of ideals rather than just the presentation of them.
The Author continues on talking about his ideal teaching methods and he brings up the point of influence. Saying that many teachers tend to avoid the topic because they feel that they are going to become propagandists rather than critical thinkers who enjoy critical thought according to Edmunson. Teachers don't want to implant ways of thinking just because of their authority as a teacher or their power over the student's grades. This is a point I have to admit to doing myself. When you have a class, you tend to want to do exactly what the teacher wants to make sure you get a good grade. There are however teacher that give a guideline to an assignment and tell the student to bring their own ideas to light. This way you get the student thinking more creatively and critically as well.
As a whole Edmunson's book is a good easy read but one that deserves more than one sitting. He goes over so many valid points that cover the humanities as a whole hitting in various vital areas. They way he presents his ideas is more like a novel than like a textbook which I think will bring more students to read it rather than skim it. His views on the ideal classroom and ways of teaching are one that I have been seeing coming to pass in my various classes. This is a book that I plan on keeping and rereading because there is so much he goes over that you really have to read it more than once to let it all sink in.
Return to 123HelpMe.com