Literacy and Intellect to me

Literacy and Intellect to me

The article, “In Defense of Literacy,” that we were asked to read arose some questions. The entire thing didn’t quite make a lot of sense to me at first, however after re-reading it a couple times I figured out there must be a deeper meaning to what the author is trying to get across. Berry throughout the article kept using the word “practical,” and “practicality” as if it is some sort of doctrine. Merriam Websters Dictionary defines practical as: “of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.” In a way this makes sense because he indirectly refers to the “practicals” as uneducated, and doesn’t seem to have a good view of these people. At one point of the article Berry actually wrote: “Short term practicality is long term idiocy.” Continuing, Berry also gave certain situations portraying practicals and how they live in the real world around us. He finishes the article by stressing the importance of literacy and literature. In the article I think that Berry was using the world literacy to symbolize out culture, and the practicals are corrupting our culture by not valuing the importance of literature and so forth. I do not agree with the view of literacy, because personally I believe that it is something that you must be interested in, and some people are just made for different things.

Graff had a different perspective and in my opinion it was more positive. Graff’s article about hidden intellectualism was very empowering because in a sense he gave hope to people who were brought down by school systems and told that they were not intellectual. He even brought up Holden Caulfield. An interesting quote that was said in the article was: “I can’t say schooling silenced me–it wasn’t powerful or well organized enough to do that. What schooling did was prevent me from recognizing my own intellectualism.” I had to read this more than once because it was kind of eye opening in a sense that I have been going to school since around the age of 4 and just now have I looked back on all those years of schooling and arose the question: is my intellectual potential being suppressed by the school system? The entire article was comparing street smart and book smart. Graff was in no way shaming schooling, but he was giving hope to people that thought that they were unintellectual. Personally I believe that I have hidden intellect. Throughout the years I have gotten my fair share of good grades, but I have also learned very valuable things from my work experience. I may not have gotten a 4.0 last semester, but I know how change my car’s oil or how to kill and clean a duck for dinner. People have valuable assets that help them get through their life, so I believe that everyone, in a sense, has their own hidden intellect.



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