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Unformatted text preview: nly as the child grows older, and there is placed on CHAPTER XV. 125 him the burden of school work, does play commence to change its serious nature and partake of the frivolous
character of adult life.
For the play of adult life is an effort to find pleasure and relaxation in the dropping of serious purposes, in the
"forgetting" of cares and worries, by indulging in excitement which has no fundamental purpose. The pleasure
of play for the adult is in the release of trends from inhibition, exactly as we may imagine that a harnessed
horse, pulling at a load and with his head held back by a check-rein, might feel if he were turned loose in a
meadow. This is the kind of play spirit manifested in going out fishing, dressed in old clothes, with men who
will not care whatever is said or done. There is purpose, there is competition and cooperation and fellowship,
but the organization is a loose one and does not bear heavily. So, too, with the pleasure of a game of ball for
the amateur who plays now and then. There is organization, control and competition; but unless one is a poor
loser, there is a relaxed tension in that the purpose is not vital, and one can shout, jump up and down and
express himself in uninhibited excitement. Whether this excitement has a value in discharging other
excitement and feelings that are inhibited in the daily work is another matter; if it has such a value, play
becomes of necessary importance. In outdoor games in general, the feeling of physical fitness, of discharging
energy along primordial lines and the happy feeling that comes merely from color of sky and grass and the
outdoor world, bring a relief from sadness that comes with the work and life of the city man.
Often the play is an effort to seek excitement and thus to forget cares, or it is a seeking of excitement for its
own sake. Thus men gamble, not only for the gain but because such excitement as is aroused offers relief from
business worries or home difficulties. The prize fights, the highly competitive professional sports of all kinds
are frequented a...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11