Claire KimFinal DraftWriting the Essay: April 8th, 2014EscapeTake a deep breath. Close your eyes. Now, open. Is it what you’ve always imagined? Look around you and tell me that this isn’t the most amazing sight you’ve ever seen. But the trees are nothing special, and the sky is but ordinary. The landscape is vast yet dull, and the body of water is nothing compared to the sparkling, reflective picture on the website. To say the least, I’m not impressed. Why do other people gape at the thought that I don’t find the landscape as amazing as they do? Who says anyone must feel a sense of amazement when looking upon it? In the “Loss of the Creature”, Walker Percy delves into the concepts of perspective, education, and truth. Percy suggests that pre-packaged thoughts create a symbolic complex in an individual’s mind, causing them to lose the true essence behind the experience or feeling. But how does Percy define this symbolic complex? Percy defines it as a confrontation and manipulation of a specific conformity overtaking a, what once was, unbiased criterion. To “recover” this lost occurrence, Percy offers four the solution of “leaving the beaten track” (Percy 752). There is a sense of degradation of an individual’s emotions of allowing professional expertise to control one’s experiences. This idea first emerges and develops in the first seventeen paragraphs, focusing on a Grand Canyon exploration. Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, an ordinary traveller, had his own amazements when on-looking the vast extent of the great depths of the Grand Canyon. Cardenas found this structure to be nothing short of “beautiful because, being first, he has access to it and can see it for what it is” (Percy 751). A feeling of awe is and can only be one of preconceived notions, implanted by societal standards of laminated postcards and
gaudily verbose travel brochures. What becomes questionable, however, is Percy’s ironic assumption that people are inclined to have a grand feeling of awe when seeing a great wonder of the world, for “the Grand canyon, the thing as it is, has been appropriated by the symbolic complex which has already been formed in the sightseer’s mind” (Percy 752). What Percy doesn’t realize is that it is not just the sightseer’s mind, but the evaluator’s, Percy’s, mind as well.What Percy has been arguing and warning readers to avoid has already been implanted in his own thoughts. The fact that he is already assuming a certain feeling that Cardenas had when discovering the Grand Canyon implies that Percy is, perhaps subconsciously, recognizing and acknowledging pre-formulated ideas. So, the question becomes a matter of whether there is even a possibility of escaping certain approved circumstances, if the advocator can’t even escape this complex.
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