The Value of Literature - Sarah Brodsky Rhetoric R1A The...

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Sarah Brodsky Rhetoric R1A 6/21/07 The Importance of Literature Dear President and Chancellors of the University of California, Since 1868, the education and success of our students at the University of California have been our largest goals. We strive to provide our students and faculty with the best resources possible. Since 1868, we have had 389 members of the Academy of Art and Sciences, 5 Fields Medal recipients, 19 Fulbright Scholars, 25 MacArthur Fellows, 254 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 91 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 13 National Medal of Science Laureates, 106 members of the Institute of Medicine, and over 61 Nobel Laureates, and this list continues to grow. Our students are considered among the brightest in the world and are known for their intelligence, creative imaginations, and ability to do what they believe is right. Our wonderful education system gives our students the ability to cultivate such necessary skills for life. Our education system is a strong one, providing the knowledge necessary to have well-rounded students. However, the strength of our system has been shaken. Due to recent budget cutbacks, one of the most important departments at the University of California is being threatened. The literature department has had a positive impact on our students and education system, providing the emotional balance, 1
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morals, and imagination needed to lead a successful life. By taking away the literature departments, we would be taking away one of our students' most valuable tools. Literature programs must be retained on every University of California campus in order to preserve our largest goals, the education and success of our students. Literature provides a balance between reason and emotion. Without a balance between reason and emotion, our students won't be able to make choices that consider both sides of human thought. Literature is negatively associated with excess emotion. Many people feel that excess emotions taint the mind and make decisions more difficult. However, many people do not bother to see what life would be like without the excess emotions that literature provides. In order to illustrate a world without the provisions of literature, I would like to look at Swift's Gulliver's Travels . In the novel, Gulliver voyages to the land of the Houyhnhnms, who are talking horses. They are completely rational. They do not fear death and they do not feel grief nor anger nor love. However, they cannot feel love. Their language does not even have a word for love. They choose partners on purely rational grounds in order to prevent the race from degenerating. When they have
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