Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Science vs Nature

“To sentence a man of true genius to the drudgery of a school is to put a racehorse on a treadmill,” is a quote by Samuel T. Coleridge. This quote shows how the Romantic poets, not just Coleridge, thought that science over nature would never let people reach their full potential. Meaning that if you put an extremely smart man in a school then he would never be allowed to expand his knowledge past the curriculum in which he was appointed to. He could never reach his full potential as a person, in knowledge, just like if someone was to put a racehorse on a treadmill. If someone was to put a racehorse on a treadmill then it will only be able to go as fast as the treadmill would let it, never being able to reach the speed it is capable of, making the horse useless. But if the horse were to be taken the off the treadmill and just let it run on its own then it would be able to reach astronomical speeds, which would fulfill what it was made for and reach its full potential as a racehorse. If the man was not sentenced to go to school then he would be able to explore and understand things at a much more deeper level without having the school’s curriculum holding him back or pulling him down.  Also he would reach his full potential as a person and be able to contribute to society more than other people could because he has gotten to the point where he can use his knowledge to become more helpful.
This quote can also show how Coleridge thought that science was less important compared to nature. The racehorse represents nature and the treadmill represents science, if the racehorse is never put on the treadmill, in other words nature is not involved with science, then it can run at a higher pace than its fellow competitors. To relate this to the man and school is simple, the man is like the racehorse and the school is like the treadmill. If the man is not involved with school then he can explore things at his own pace to get a better and deeper understanding of things.

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