Literature Study GuidesZen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance | Study Guide

Robert Pirsig

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Sep. 2017. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, September 20). Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Study Guide." September 20, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Study Guide," September 20, 2017, accessed December 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance/.

Overview

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance infographic thumbnail

Author

Robert Pirsig

Year Published

1974

Type

Nonfiction

Genre

Autobiography, Philosophy

At a Glance

Two key ideas sustain Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. First, the cultural view of technology as the enemy of nature and society concerns and troubles the narrator, who is essentially the author's voice and the main protagonist in the book. He believes that because technology is essential to modern life, we should view it with respect and work to understand it without judgment. Second, Pirsig wants to examine his own psychiatric history and his earlier mental breakdown as they gradually return to his conscious memory. The motorcycle image unites the two themes: learning how to maintain his own "bike" helps the narrator become comfortable with technology, and the motorcycle journey provides a way into his journey of self-exploration. The book's relevance continues. In the years since its 1974 publication, Zen principles have become increasingly mainstream in the West as technology has advanced considerably.

Perspective and Narrator

The narrator is a slightly fictionalized version of the author himself. When the perspective is the author's, experienced in "real time," Pirsig uses the first-person singular and the present tense. When the perspective belongs to the narrator's alter ego, Phaedrus, Pirsig uses the third-person singular and the past tense.

About the Title

The title reflects the book's main theme: The proper way to care for a motorcycle is a metaphor for the proper way to live. Correct living and motorcycle maintenance should both be guided by the Zen-inspired principles of mindfulness, living in the present, refraining from judging oneself or others, and striving for harmony between mind and body.

Summary

This study guide and infographic for Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from Amazon.com
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!