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essay for Ideas of the 20th century

This is the essay posted by me for the course on EDX "The ideas of 20th century"...


"There were no more wise men; there were no more heroes... Amory had grown up to a thousand books, a thousand lies; he had listened eagerly to people who pretended to know, who knew nothing. The mystical reveries of saints that had once filled him with awe in the still hours of night, now vaguely repelled him."
In the above passage, Amory rejects the values and faith he had grown up with. In 400-800 words, give an example of a writer or poet who rejects Amory’s attitude, then give an example of an author who agrees with Amory. Support your examples with textual evidence and try to show how deeply the authors agree or disagree. (As much as possible, don’t just say that the authors agree or disagree about an issue, but try to explain why they do so.)

Amory is the character in “This side of Paradise” written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The character Amory is a fairly intelligent person and has lived with certain ideals. He falls in love with Rosalind, who leaves him and marries a wealthy person. Amory also goes to World War I to fight the war where he sees the gore and devastation, which war brings. His mentor Mr. Darcy passes away and Amory feels alone in the world. He is also disillusioned about life and faith and the values with which he had grown up. His experience in life makes him reject the belief system with which he had grown up. It is difficult for him to come to terms with reality and finds himself struggling to understand the world around him. 
I have looked at “one” work of an author to establish my argument of agreement and disagreement with Amory. 
According to me, Rudyard Kipling does not agree with Amory in his poem “IF”. “IF” establishes the faith in one’s action and virtuousness of the same. It is about doing right and being correct. It is about being unfazed and belief in self even if the world does not share the same attitude. It’s about being on ground and not loosing touch with reality even in circumstances when everything is positive. The first stanza of poem 
“If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are loosing theirs and blaming is on you” tells us to not give in to doubt, lies and hatred offered by the world but to keep the truth alive and at the same time it advises not to be boastful about it. 
The rest of the poem makes one believe in idealism and ideal human being. It talks about the virtuous qualities like humility, patience, truthfulness, belief in self and good deed, which one should possess to live in an appropriate manner. 
“IF” establishes everyone’ s worth in their own eyes as of the greatest value of living and not through establishing oneself or seeking acceptance in other’s eyes. It does not at any point talks about making one heroic or famous or seeking approval from others but talks about only self in self’s context. In “IF” Kipling establishes the perfection of self. “If” talks about being just and right even if others are not. It tells us not to be manipulated by other’s point of view or their actions and to not let circumstances steer one away from faith in self and virtuous actions. This is one key point where “IF” differs from Amory. Amory feels wronged by the world and its their treatment of him which makes him feel wronged and he rejects the value of faith, whereas in “if” Kipling says that it is important to not loose faith and be doubtful in adversities.
E. M. Forster agrees with Amory’s attitude towards value and faith in his essay of “what I Believe”. He talks about belief, faith, relationships, democracy, force and violence, hero worship, aristocracy and God with an interesting insight into the topics and seeing them in various lights. One, which shines most, is that he refutes the claim of common good for everyone. He puts faith akin to starch, which stiffens the fabric and makes it coarse just the way faith stiffens a human being and makes them close their mind to various other experiences, which may exist against their faith. His take on relationship is akin to what Amory experienced with Rosalind. He mentions in his essay that “there is something incalculable in each of us, which may at any moment rise to the surface and destroy our normal balance”, which is what Amory experiences when Rosalind leaves him because he is poor and marries a more wealthy man. He goes through a sense of disbelief and loss, which he finds extremely painful to come to terms with. He looses his belief in faith. 
In E M Forster’s essay, as his point of view the survival of personal relationship is based on “faith” of unchangeability of a person and to ignore any evidence of personal change through the virtue of faith in that person. Even if he says that he believes in personal relationship but the way he puts forth his argument does not say it with conviction. It is put in a manner as if there is no other option but to believe. 
His opinion on “force and violence” is also pessimistic. Every one agrees that war is not good and brings destruction to humanity but at the same time each country has police force and military to take care of their internal and external security. His understanding of this brings a very interesting perspective of killing someone because that is in the common good but he defies it and says that killing and violence against each other can never be for good and the reality is that it is here to stay. According to me, it’s an interesting viewpoint and if the same is instilled in each and every human being it will be a more peaceful place to stay. But he does not go to this extent in his thought and with a more pragmatic approach stops himself and indicates that the time is gloomy and it is difficult moment to live in.
His thought about pool of blood around great men made me think of great men differently, I was astonished at my own thought process inspired by this statement and had to check myself in for being more thorough and less cynical. Overall his take of life according to be is as pessimistic as Amory, what is different is his sense of indifference to the world in “What I Believe”.


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