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Thinking As A Hobby Summary

2007-06-26  Marrisa

Thinking As A Hobby

Author: William Golding
Summary by martinloyola  (words: 600, Visits: 1828)
Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2006    Stars (28 Review)
“Thinking as Hobby” by William Golding is a narrative essay which describes three levels of thought through the telling of the attempts at communication by various people to the narrator and thereby reaching a few conclusions about his own Thinking patterns and the nature of mankind’s mind. The childhood related by the narrator is inundated with hypocritical teachers who say one thing about the way things should be, but act in a way contraire to their stated belief, and thus fit into his category of grade three; his conclusion about this is hidden in a silent attempt to speak with the headmaster whose miniature of Venus, Rodin’s thinker and of the leaping leopard, inspire the young boy with a certain curiosity about the subject of thought, a pattern that continues throughout his life. The narrative shifts now to his teen years, when encountering his girlfriend Ruth’s religious beliefs that rest on faulty supports, embarks on a journey as who he would later describe as a grade two thinker, i.e. a cynical sarcastic idea basher whose sole purpose is to throw down grade three thinker’s self-illusioned ideologies in an malevolent effort to have fun at their expense. The statues in his headmaster’s office mean little to him at this stage; his grade two thinking leaves little room for symbols except in the way of satire and sarcasm. In college life, a run in with Einstein proves fruitful in that he concludes that this intellectual giant can be thought as a grade one thinker through his honest effort to communicate goodwill, even in the most simplistic sharing, with the word “Fisch”; the level one aspirant too desires such good grace, however he falls short with synthetic social, religious, and economic systems that only serve to produce more problems and not provide solutions to the dilemmas already in existence. He later discovers the apparent error of his ways and tries to elevate his thinking above this vain attempt at essentially grade three thinking, especially after this brief but profound encounter with Einstein; as an adult, Golding relates the value of communication that he once had destroyed with so much vehemence in youth, is still reflected in his headmaster’s statuettes that now represent for him the constant struggle between grade one thinking and human nature that tries to destroy all beneficial communication.

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