Literature Essays & Paper Examples

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Book Report On Thinking As A Hobby

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In his essay "Thinking as a Hobby," William Golding classifies thinkers into three categories. Analyzing everyone he meets is a very interesting hobby for Golding. When classifying these people, he puts them into "grades" according to their thinking style. Grade-three thinkers are very common, and Grade-two thinkers are less plentiful, but not as rare as Grade-one thinkers, who are most extraordinary. 

In society, Golding's classification system is useful when analyzing people. Golding states that "90% of the population are Grade-three thinkers" (Golding, 295). Grade-three thinkers think with their feelings, and without analyzing. Golding also states for Grade-three thinkers, "thought is often full of unconscious prejudice, ignorance, and hypocrisy" (Golding, 295). One particular individual that he describes in this passage is a schoolteacher by the name of Miss Parson. He feels that Miss Parson pretended to care, and to be concerned for her class. Actually, the only concern she had was finding a husband. Golding also finds a middle class of thinkers. He calls these people Grade-two thinkers. Grade-two thinkers are people who like to contradict any situation. Golding finds that the age period in which people are most likely to be Grade-two thinkers is in their adolescent years. Golding had an experience during his Grade-two thinking years with a young female, Ruth. Ruth was a Methodist who felt "that the Bible (King James Version) was literally inspired" (Golding 296). Golding goes as far as to state that "Catholics believed in the literal inspiration of Saint Jerome's Vulgate, and the two books were different" (Golding 296). Ruth came back with saying "there were an awful lot of Methodists, and they couldn't be wrong" (Golding 296). Then Golding calmly stated "if we were counting heads, the Buddhists were the boys for my money" (Golding 296). Ruth's father later found out about the conversation. He became a very upset, and told Golding's parent. This, in turn, got him in trouble. Golding thus found out how much trouble someone can get into by questioning someone else's opinion. The last type of thinker is classified as a Grade-one thinker. A Grade-one thinker analyzes everything without taking feeling into his decision making. Golding was very determined to find a Grade-one thinker; he even goes as far as to say he envies them. One day he met a Grade-one thinker on a small bridge in Oxford, England turned out to be Albert Einstein. As they were standing on the bridge, both of the gentlemen wanted to communicate, but neither spoke the language of the others. Einstein saw a fish swimming and said "Fisch." Golding was surprised; he tried to use his very limited German vocabulary. He said "Fisch, Ja Ja." This represents how two Grade-one thinkers overcame a language barrier in order to communicate. By analyzing and classifying people, we can better understand their thought processes. Grade-three thinkers are often considered immature. Grade-two thinkers are thought to be incomplete. Grade-one thinkers can be remembered for their astonishing abilities. Through his definitions and examples, Golding effectively describes his classification system. This way, readers will be able to classify themselves and others.

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