The Educated Man

Length: 3 Pages 681 Words

“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 ha Continue...

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This statement helps defend Newman's case. In dispelling Society's definition, Newman took it upon himself to create a substitute; an unaffected spiritual definition pulled from the same well that the definition of man in the constitution was pulled. This idea is also contradictory to the thought of the time- that an educated man relates only to other educated men. The names mentioned were all men who in some way changed the world. nd with forming the critic or experimentalist, the economist or engineer. I side with Newman on this issue also. A true educated man knows he may learn more about the anatomy of a fish from a poor fisherman than a Harvard grad. Perhaps the beginning of educated men will remain where it has always begun, in the small cleft of a rock- such as Stratford-upon-Avon or Urbino, Italy, where one learns to ask questions, in pursuit of their answers stumble upon new world's and ideas alike. He is still stereotyped by what they've done, rather than what he is. The fictional character Jay Gatsby, of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was proof of this. Newman concludes his essay by saying, "He has a gift which... without which good fortune is but vulgar, and with which failure and disappointment have a charm. 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. 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.


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