Walker Percy's 'The Loss Of A Creature'

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Eryn Messer English 101 Instructor: Roper Short Essay #3 Knowledge, Understanding and Perception With the increasing rapid growth in the world, it’s interesting to study the varying knowledge gaps and influences in the population of every community, region and country. I ponder how my interpretation of the writings of Walker Percy and the individual points he wants us, as readers, to understand and walk away knowing. Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience in the system of concepts based upon our previous experiences. Understanding is not inherited. It comes when we free ourselves from the old, making it possible to make a direct, unmediated contact with the new, moment by moment mystery…show more content…
He introduces us to how the explorer, guide and sightseer see things differently. Percy states how the minds of the sightseer, “already been formed” and “as a result of this preformation, the source of the sightseer’s pleasure undergoes a shift”. The sightseer takes a brochure, books their trip and already has a preconceived knowledge before they arrive. What they have already learned (in my understanding) was from objects or pictures and then upon visiting the Grand Canyon, gained far more knowledge than they expected…show more content…
However, when I was led on a tour throughout the museum and its exhibits I realized I didn’t have as much knowledge as I thought at all. I perceived, learned and understood the exhibits far more than expected. It was my tour guide who had the real knowledge. I was opened up to facts, art and the creator’s meaning that I never would have noticed or understood. Going back to Walker Percy and his Grand Canyon essay, the sightseer looks at the picture postcard and back at the canyon, itself, and Percy writes, “He feels he has not been cheated. But if it does not conform, if the colors are somber, he will not be able to see it directly; he will only be conscious of the disparity between what it is and what it is supposed to be.” In Percy’s essay, before going to canyon, the sightseer obtained brochures and pictures. I went online, looked at pictures and read information about the exhibits before going to the museum. Did the sightseer and I gain knowledge from the actual visual of “them” (the canyon and museum as objects), or did they merely provide better understanding of the perceptions we had before the

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