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This Is Water David Foster Wallace

This Is Water By David Foster Wallace

THIS IS WATER! by David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallaces 2005 commencement speech to the graduating class at Kenyon College, is a timeless trove of wisdom right up there with Hunter Thompson on finding your purpose and living a meaningful life. The speech was made into a thin book titled This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.

Wallace hits on our need to manage rather than remove our core hard-wired human instincts.

Here are the links to the original audio followed by the entire speech.

Analysis Of David Foster Wallace’s Speech ‘knowledge’

David Foster Wallace’s speech is to show the value in liberal arts college. In the passage David Foster Wallace writes, “I have come gradually to understand that the liberal-arts cliche about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea “Learning how to think” really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” He acknowledge not only the value in learning but also the perception towards life that only can gained by going to a liberal arts college. David Foster identify’s this type of information as “Knowledge”. “The point is that petty,frustrating crap like this exactly where the work of choosing comes

The Book In Three Sentences

Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It can be easy to spend our entire lives accepting our natural default ways of thinking rather than choosing to look differently at life. The only thing that is capital-T True is that you get to decide how youre going to try to see life and how you construct meaning from experience.

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A Rhetorical Analysis Of David Foster

Many of the things he talks about such as our “default setting” of self-service and how any real education should give us freedom to make choices other than those based on this default setting. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.” He talks about right thinking and a lot of what he says about being well-adjusted in the society is parallel to external considering. Wallaces speech also suggests that the overall purpose of higher education is to be able to consciously choose how to see others and act appropriately in everyday life.

Profound Life Lessons From This Is Water By David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace

1. On the Default Setting: You must first acknowledge the unconscious default setting of your mind. This is still countercultural in mainstream society.

  • And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.
  • If I choose to think this way in a store and on the freeway, fine. Lots of us do. Except thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic that it doesnt have to be a choice. It is my natural default setting. Its the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when Im operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the worlds priorities.
  • If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough.
  • And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self.

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Wallace David Foster This Is Water Summary

Wallace, David Foster. “This is Water.” Kenyon college commencement speech. May 21, 2005. Wallace’s speech gives a look at reality. The way an American adult’s life is. The way how everything is routine, how if not “well adjusted,” you will be self centered and in default setting. He describes the daily routine of an American adult, and how he goes to a supermarket, packed with more people. He gets frustrated and annoyed by all of these people how they are just wasting his time. He then starts thinking how all of these people are going through the same thing he is going through they have rough days just as he does. If someone was to think outside the box and actually focus on the beauty of this world, they will not be bored, annoyed, frustrated,

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Speech Of David Foster Wallace

The speech, was written by David Foster Wallace, and it was delivered to the graduating class of 2005 at Kenyon College. Wallace talked about the real importance of having a degree that it is more than just a material payoff. He also tells the students that a liberal arts education is all about teaching you how to think. This means that it is all about having the choice of what we can think about. He talks about the real values of an education. It is more than the knowledge we learn but more about simple awareness. Wallace goes on with saying that learning how to think also come with becoming less arrogant to the different people around us. As humans, we tend to be very self-centered in everything we do. Wallace says that we need to learn to adjust our natural default setting to become less self-centered.

Early Life And Education

David Foster Wallace – This Is Water

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, to Sally Jean Wallace and James Donald Wallace. The family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where he was raised along with his younger sister, Amy Wallace-Havens. His father was a philosophy professor at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. His mother was an English professor at Parkland College, a community college in Champaign, which recognized her work with a “Professor of the Year” award in 1996. From fourth grade, Wallace lived with his family in Urbana, where he attended Yankee Ridge Elementary School, Brookens Junior High School and Urbana High School.

As an adolescent, Wallace was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He wrote about this period in the essay “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley”, originally published in Harper’s Magazine as “Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes”. Although his parents were atheists, Wallace twice attempted to join the Catholic Church, but “flunk the period of inquiry”. He later attended a Mennonite church.

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Kenyon Commencement Speech: Analyzed

David Foster Wallace was a novelist and essayist. He delivered a commencement speech to liberal arts graduates at the Kenyon College in May of 2005. In the speech Wallace implores listeners to hear his words from a non-biased perspective for what they are his words are not a reprimand to the selfish, but an offer to those seeking knowledge to broaden their perspective. Wallace warns against closed mindedness by using examples of his own experiences along with clichés, and the repeated idea that a liberal arts education is not so much about filling you up with knowledge as it is teaching you how to think.-. Wallace expands on that cliché, showing the audience that the need to be taught is not an insult to their intelligence, but a tool that can be used to broaden the mind and experience life to the fullest.

A Critical And Rhetorical Analysis Of William Cronon’s Only Connect

While the term liberal education is heard from the most prestigious university to an inner city community college, the phrase itself has a hazy definition at best. While educators across America struggle with the definition of the phrase, William Cronon uses purpose, structure, and appeals in his essay “Only Connect: The Goals of Liberal education,” to define a liberally educated being and the characteristics that such an education should impart. Cronon capitalizes on inductive structuring to lead the reader along, gently building each new statement upon a foundation of previous ideas. This effectively leads the reader to a strange and new concept that a liberal education should nurture the human mind and inspire students to have love for their fellow humanity.

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Rhetorical Analysis Of Can A Liberal Arts Education

In Can a liberal arts education really make us better? by Richard Kamber, he argues that even though a liberal arts education can make us better, it depends solely on that persons definition of better. Now the question on everyones mind, What are liberal arts? A liberal arts education gives us a general review of humanities, arts, and sciences. Liberal arts are usually delivered in small classes, full of active participants, by seasoned faculty. They aim to develop our character and provide us with an immense amount of skills, which ultimately gives us more money. Though often looked down upon, liberal arts have helped shape many great people such as Socrates, Giordano Gentile, Galileo, and Martin Heidregger.

College Worth The Price

David Foster Wallace " This Is Water"  Quote Print

Charles Murray Are Too Many People Going to College, argues by admitting so many incaple and uninterested students into traditional four-year programs, schools are dumbing down the educational experience. Murray basically states that we deprive those who dont belong in college an education that will pay off. Sanford J. Ungar argues the misperceptions which exist in our society on how worthless the Liberal Arts are nowadays. Ungar believes anybody can benefit from a college degree, especially a Liberal Arts one. College students at one point probably have thought to themselves that college is a waste of time. Even though college can be beneficial for students who apply themselves, college is not for everyone especially students who dont care.

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My College Career Analysis

I love learning. Whether it be about abstract ideas, well proven notions, science, religion, or anything under the sun. I am extremely open minded yet I know how to critical of the information I am presented with for not all knowledge credible or can agree with reason. At the end of my college career I know I will be more prepared for life not only career wise but holistically. And I believe thats what college is really about, providing students with the tools to find meaning in our own lives and prepare us for our life journeys. Although my parents have not told me much about college other than that I have to go to one, my teachers have often told me that is the time to explore and find yourself. College is where you are given freedom to make your own choices and decide what you will make of your life. While some of my teachers have told me that a liberal arts education isnt as beneficial for me and I should have an idea of what I want to do before I enter college I strongly disagree. As an eighteen year old that hasnt had enough experiences to determine what I want to do with my future, a liberal arts education is an excellent way to find myself and my passion while still allowing me to advance in my pursuit of knowledge. Most of my peers already have a career and major in mind and see college as a place to work hard as they prepare for their

The Purpose Of This Is Water By David Foster Wallace

Heres the gist of the This is Water story itself along with 3 simple life lessons we can all apply to our day-to-day existence .

The Purpose of the Fish Story:

  • There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, Morning, boys. Hows the water? And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, What the hell is water?
  • If your total freedom of choice regarding what to think about seems too obvious to waste time discussing, Id ask you to think about fish and water, and to bracket for just a few minutes your skepticism about the value of the totally obvious.
  • The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: This is water.This is water.

The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.

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Analysis Of This Is Water By David Foster Wallace

The speech This Is Water provided in the paper is an address to the students of Kenyon College made in 2005. In it, David Foster Wallace reviews some particularities of peoples minds and their unconscious attitude to the events and circumstances around them. The author uses the young fish asking for what water is as an example, through which he emphasizes how hard it may be to interpret simple things happening in daily lives. Considering the significance of such an understanding, young students are invited to pay specific attention to it. Therefore, it is critically important to identify the instances of default negative thinking, overcome them, control ones attitude towards occurring events, and view them in all their complexity and with possible connotations.

Through all these discussions and examples, the author urges the audience to contemplate the basic things surrounding everybody. He asks students not to slip into their unconscious mindsets. Constructing the meanings of the circumstances surrounding them would allow them to view the world from a different perspective and change their attitudes to others behavior. The goal of finding the correct values in ones life, understanding what is essential, and learning how to achieve it is among the aims of education, which is a job of a lifetime for everybody.

Fareed Zakaria In Defense Of Liberal Education

This Is Water by David Foster Wallace Full Speech

As In Defense of Liberal Education Zakaria Pointed that with liberal education you can Improve you thinking and the way you do something as well it could free you mind and idea and could improve the way that you speaks and let you express yourself more clearly. Having a good thinking skill and being able to think critically can help you in all aspects of live whether it is personal life or your career planning or even your major, It helps you to think clearly and appropriately and makes you able to take beneficial decisions that could help you build a better life and better future. Student should believe that liberal Art Education will not harm them or make their future harder and make it difficult for them to get a career job or even it is not important and essential for the Major that they are currently learning, but they must believe that it could help and benefit them in all the aspects of live.

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David Foster Wallace What The Hell Is Water Analysis

An abundance of Wallace ‘s speech is him presenting different stories and analogies about knowledge being not “the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about.” Wallace goes on with another moral story about the “banal platitudes” of the adult life explaining if you don ‘t consciously choose what and how you ‘re going to think about a thing you ‘re going to be “pissed and miserable” On further expanding that thought, David states “there are totally different ways to think” Wallace ‘s speech centers around “the freedom of real education is you get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn ‘t.”

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