“The Educated Man” Period 2
John Henry Newman, the author of the essay entitled “The Educated Man” begins his essay in a way that was very contradictory to his times. He opens his essay boldly declaring that “A University is not a birthplace to poets or immortal authors, of founders of schools, leaders of colonies, or conquerors of nations.” In essence, what he is saying is that the university is not the birthplace of an educated man. This thought helps highlight his purpose for the remainder of the essay, to provide a pure definition, untainted by society, of what a true educated man is, as opposed to what he was considered in the Victorian Period. I strongly agree with his essay, and its function of requiring the paper-machier-and-chicken-wire educated man of the Victorian Age to become molded of real substance.
The essay continues to say “ [A university] does not promote a generation of Aristotles or Newtons, of Raphaels or Shakespeares… Nor is it content on the other hand with forming the critic or experimentalist, the economist or engineer”. This statement helps defend Newman’s case. The names mentioned were all men who in some way changed the world. Those of them who did receive a University diploma do not owe their success or education to the University they received it from. The task of the university was minimal, the true thing that made them become pinnacles of education was their own love for knowledge, and the traits they possessed as described throughout the rest of the essay. Today, men such as Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, and Charlie Chaplin can be added to the list. Albert Einstein, although considered on of the most educated men ever, never even finished middle school. These accounts all make a case for Newman in arguing that the general definition of and educated man- a man who has received diploma and graduation from a college, as incorrect.