Don’t you think it’s time to start thinking?

9 September 2016

Don’t you think It’s time to start thinking? ”, Northrop Frye takes on a powerful yet imposing tone wherein he makes it a fact rather than a perspective that a person’s ideas and thoughts don’t exist unless expressed using proper words. The title itself questions one’s thinking mechanism. It makes the reader wonder whatever he has been thinking is any thinking at all.

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The essay aims at people who blindly follow the conventional method of thinking which the society enforces upon them. He also points out that the key to successful thinking lies in incorporating the thoughts into proper words. The essay highlights the importance of verbal skills in critical thinking. Frye states that schools and teachers play an inevitable role in developing a student’s thought process. He says that a student should be taught on how to think and how to put it in words.

He states that thinking is a matter of practice and everyone should take enough time to think. That is the only way in which one can articulate the thoughts, without which, it is meaningless. I believe that the society, instead of creating highly determined individuals, forces people to be pliable so that they will get adapted to the pre-set rules and regulations. The anti-intellectual drive that exists in the society today, doesn’t give importance to verbal competency or articulation. If an individual comes up with his own ideas, it questions his own survival in the society.

This is what makes people hide in the mass created by their predecessors. Frye expresses his thoughts about the importance of critical thinking and he has successfully backed up each of his statements with proper explanation and examples. I also feel that there is an entertainment perspective in the essay, especially in paragraph 12 where Frye tries to bring in some humor to the topic. The prejudices and cliches which are put up as pretence of thinking conceal the meaning rather than reveal it.

This essay reminds me of the movie I recently watched, The Croods. The overprotective father, Grug follows the primitive cave rules to protect his family and to survive, coining the statement that fear keeps one alive. The moment he steps out of his cave, he starts to think on his own and comes up with his own ideas to get past obstacles and this improves the quality of his life. The people of our society should take this as an example and get out of their dormant, archaic way of life and start articulating their own thoughts.

With the clever choice of words and language, Frye has conveyed through his essay, how important words are when it comes to articulating one’s thoughts and ideas. Schools are where a child starts to explore new horizons and build his intellectual and critical thinking skills. For a child to imbibe these skills, is a herculean task. This can be accomplished only if the teachers fight relentlessly and fearlessly to pave a new path for the student’s mental growth rather than take him through the old road. The whole essay conveys that any idea is useless unless articulated using proper words.

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